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Conserving "Exhaustible Natural Resources": The Role Of Precedent In The Gatt Article XX(G) Exception

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sheds some light on the "trade and environment" ambiguity contained in the application of the exception articulated in Article XX(g) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It examines the use of precedent in formulating a methodology for the application of the Article XX(g) exception. Using this methodology, the adopted reports of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) significantly expand the range of national environmental laws that qualify for provisional justification under the Article XX(g) exception. The chapter traces this expansion of provisional justification through an analysis of the inaugural decision of the Appellate Division in United States-Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline (Gasoline) and United States-Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products (Shrimp/Turtle). Provisional justification under Article XX(g) qualifies only such measures "relating to the conservation of an exhaustible natural resource if such measures are made in conjunction with restrictions on domestic production or consumption".

Keywords: appellate division; Article XX(g) exception; Dispute Settlement Body (DSB); exhaustible natural resource; gasoline; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; national environmental laws; precedent; shrimp products; United States



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