The multilateralization of PTAs’ environmental clauses: scenarios for the future?

Morin, Jean-Frédéric / Clara Brandi / Axel Berger
External Publications (2019)

in: Manfred Elsig / Michael Hahn / Gabriele Spilker (eds.), The shifting landscape of global trade governance, World Trade Forum, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 207-232

ISBN: 978-1-10848-567-8

Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) cover a much wider diversity of environmental clauses than World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. Which PTA environmental clauses could be multilateralized and included in the WTO rulebook? This chapter compares five different scenarios for the potential multilateralization of PTA environmental clauses: 1) The “routine scenario” combines the most frequent clauses; 2) the “consensual scenario” includes the clauses accepted by a high number of WTO members; 3) the “trendy scenario” includes the most popular clauses in recent times; 4) “the power-game scenario” combines the clauses that are jointly supported by the United States and the European Union; 5) the “appropriate scenario” is a compilation of the clauses typically included in large membership agreements. This chapter compares and contrasts the scenarios’ implications and identifies their common ground. Although each scenario represents an ideal type unlikely to materialize, the comparison offers insights into how the multilateral trading system could be developed to improve the integration of environmental concerns.

About the authors

Berger, Axel

Political Science


Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science


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