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4 N.Y.U. Envtl. L.J. 207 (1995)
Greening the GATT: Trade, Environment, and the Future

handle is hein.journals/nyuev4 and id is 213 raw text is: BOOK ANNOTATIONS

TURn. By Daniel C. Esty. Washington, D.C.: Institute for
International Economics, 1994. Pp. xvi, 319. $19.95.
There has been a historical conflict between environmental-
ists who view free trade as a threat to the environment and free
traders who are concerned that environmentalism will be a sub-
terfuge for protectionism. However, Daniel C. Esty's Greening
the GATT offers a refreshing and balanced argument that this
antagonism need not exist and that increased liberalization in in-
ternational trade can actually reinforce environmental protection
Esty, the former Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy
at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the
agency's chief NAFTA negotiator, advances two main recom-
mendations for how international trade can facilitate environ-
mental goals. First, Esty suggests that a new Global
Environmental Organization (GEO) should be created for the
promotion of both environmental and trade goals and for the ef-
fective management of international environmental problems.
Second, Esty argues that the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GAIT) should include substantive and procedural re-
forms to more fully incorporate environmental considerations
into international trade policy.
Esty begins his discussion by tracing the origins of the trade
and environment conflict. He argues that the conflict arises more
from the inadequacy of environmental regulation than from the
insensitivity of the international trading system to environmental
concerns. As he notes, command and control regulations fa-
vored by environmentalists are increasingly ineffective in con-
trolling environmental problems arising from the diffuse and
complex behavior of many small facilities and individuals. Such
regulations are simply incapable of making polluters pay for the
costs their activities impose on society. Thus, the high costs and
comparatively few benefits associated with command and control
regulations drive the opposition by free traders. Esty balances
this critique'of existing regulation with a thorough and objective
analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the marketplace as a
medium of environmental protection. He concludes that a com-
mitment to market-based, cost-internalizing regulations will unite

Imaged with the Permission of N.Y.U. Environmental Law Journal


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