December 2009 – A World Growth Briefing
The European Union (EU) is seeking to impose environmental trade restrictions on food and forestry products which serve to protect European producers and harm viable sources of growth in developing countries. This action is not new. It is reflective of a longer term trend in the rise environmental trade protectionism. The last few years have seen the growth of regulation in the EU to address environmental concerns affecting trade in food and agriculture as governments have sought to manage the impacts of climate change and ensure environmental sustainability. This approach is being extended to international trade agreements and negotiations. In the agricultural sphere, the EU has made clear (including in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round negotiations) that it intends to seek new trade restrictions which ostensibly ensure environmental considerations are recognized in any new agreements to liberalize trade in agriculture.
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