On Legal Issues of Green Trade Barriers
|Keywords||Green Trade Barriers Environment-related-Trade Policies of EuropeanUnion Secondary Legislations|
"Green trade barrier" is one of the problems arising from the interaction of trade and environment. Since1990s, the environmental problems, which followed the speed-up of the economic globalization, gradually gained attentions of the world. That was the time when people started to study the relationship between trade and environment. Because environmental protection is largely concerned with imposing restrictions while trade is chiefly interested in the trade liberalizations, there are conflicts between trade and environment. In order to make them "co-exist in harmony", efforts have been made in many respects, such as the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the United Nations Report of the world Summit on Sustainable Development in2002, so as to diminish the conflicts between trade and environment. Green trade barrier is one of the outcomes of this process; in a sense, green trade barrier is considered as one of the solutions to the conflict between trade and environment.The overall framework of this thesis is as follows:The first two chapters, Chapter One and Chapter Two start with the relationships between environment and trade, and elaborate the causes, the characteristics, legal sources of green trade barrier and its influence toward trade, environmental protection and relevant legal principles. Based on the analysis of the major legal issues concerning the green trade barrier, the author then concentrates on the European Union’s environment-related-trade policies, i.e. the EU’s environment-related-trade secondary legislations, which is the third chapter of this thesis.European Union is one of the major trade partners of China; therefore, its policies affect the development of trade between EU and China. The environment-related-trade policies made and enforced by EU constitute green trade barriers and caused adverse effect to the product exported to EU from China; however, at the same time, it should be noticed that it is necessary to analyze and study the EU policies, such as the way they made policies. The author generalizes the development of the policy-making history starting from the European Community, with the focus on the content of policies concerning product packaging, international trade of wild fauna and flora, etc. Then the author analyzes the influence generally, both the positive ones and the negative ones. The positive influences may include that these policies will be considered as a higher standard which promotes the manufacturers to improve their own techniques to meet the higher environmental requirements, which, as a result, would gain access to the foreign market; also, the policies will be studies so that China can use them for reference in the environment and trade legislation. The negative influences may include that the policies constitute green trade barrier to the products from China and cause obstacles for products from China to enter the markets of EU Member States; furthermore, these policies are bad for the competitiveness of products from China. At the end of this thesis, after elaborating the content, characteristics and the impacts of EU’s environment-related-trade policies, the author brings up several suggestions, such as involvement of the negotiations of WTO, using the Dispute Settlement Mechanism of WTO to defend the legitimate interests and improving the environment laws.