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The Burden of Proof in National Treatment Disputes and the Environment

  • Horn, Henrik

This paper examines the role of the burden of proof (BoP) in National Treatment (NT) disputes under trade agreements. In the situation under study, imports may cause environmental damage, in which case less favorable treatment of imported products may be globally desirable from an international efficiency point of view. But adjudicators do not with full certainty know the motives for policies that are allegedly pursued to protect the environment, but that also give commercial advantages to domestic products. The paper points to a tension between NT and environmental concerns, in that NT will primarily target countries exposed to environmental shocks. But contrary to what might be expected, this tension is not likely to arise when the environmental threats are very severe. The paper also shows why a shift of the BoP in environmental disputes toward complaining (exporting) countries will not necessarily reduce the environmental damage in importing countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7316.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7316
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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Horn, Henrik, 2006. "National Treatment in the GATT," CEPR Discussion Papers 5450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sumeet Gulati & Devesh Roy, 2008. "National Treatment and the optimal regulation of environmental externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1445-1471, November.
  4. Chris William Sanchirico, 2008. "A Primary-Activity Approach to Proof Burdens," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 273-313, 01.
  5. Ferrara, Ida & Missios, Paul & Murat Yildiz, Halis, 2009. "Trading rules and the environment: Does equal treatment lead to a cleaner world?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 206-225, September.
  6. Baksi, S. & Ray Chaudhuri, A., 2008. "Transboundary Pollution, Trade Liberalization, and Environmental Taxes," Discussion Paper 2008-78, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2008. "On the Role and Design of Dispute Settlement Procedures in International Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 14067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Kamal Saggi & Nese Sara, 2008. "National Treatment At The Wto: The Roles Of Product And Country Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1365-1394, November.
  10. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2008. "The Permissible Reach of National Environmental Policies," Working Paper Series 739, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 20 Jun 2008.
  11. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2009. "Burden of Proof in Environmental Disputes in the WTO: Legal Aspects," Working Paper Series 793, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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