Some of the extreme positions like free trade for its own sake or an absolute environmental protection are unsustainable, the former because of its ignorance of linkages with economic and ecological systems and the latter because of its severe restrictions on economic growth, and both on sustainable development. In general, free trade rather than protected trade contributes to enhanced economic growth, but balanced trade and optimal trade (see Chapter 1 for definitions of various trade policy regimes) could bring about economic growth as well as attain other economic objectives. In the multilateral trading system, these could contradict some of the provisions of the WTO framework, however. Sustainable trade maintains a comprehensive approach toward sustained economic and environmental progress, recognizing the complementarity of both. Deriving operationally meaningful and WTO-consistent policy guidelines for an application of this conceptual framework remains a major task. This is the focus of this chapter.
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- International Trade and Environment: an Integration
P. K. Rao
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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