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Global Warming and the World Trading System

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Global Warming and the World Trading System

Global Warming and the World Trading System

Thursday, April 9, 2009 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
The Competative Enterprise Institute
United States

Increasingly,international trade and global warming issues are intersecting.  Current U.S.climate change proposals to restrict domestic greenhouse gas emissions includetrade measures that would impose border adjustments – import taxes – on goodsproduced in countries that do not have emissions limits and would subsidizecertain “environmentally friendly” exports.  Other countries, such as theEuropean Union, Australia,and Canada,have proposed similar measures.  The impetus for these measures is fearthat countries adopting stringent emissions restrictions and higher costs wouldbe at a competitive disadvantage to firms in countries that did not, such as China and India. 

Are such domesticmeasures compliant with the rules of the World Trade Organization? Will disputes over trade-restrictivemeasures relating to global warming arise under core WTO provisions?  What similar issues have been dealt with by the WTO’s dispute settlementsystem?  If countries agree to a post-Kyoto global warmingregime, how do WTO rules relate to Multilateral – or Plurilateral – Environmental Agreements?  

Ø  Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the PetersonInstitute for International Economics, and co-authorof the just-published book, Global Warming and the World Trading System,will discuss these and other issues presented in the book.  According tothe Peterson Institute, this is the first comprehensive analysis of therelationships between the world trading system and climate change policy.  The book assesses the implications of thecurrent WTO system for alternative approaches to curbing carbon emissions,offers a series of options for dealing with their trade aspects, and proposes anew Code of Good WTO Practice on greenhouse gas emission controls.