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This article provides an overview of the “trade and environment” interface in the WTO and proposes a new paradigm for making progress. The article reviews recent developments in WTO adjudication and negotiations and examines the institutional interplay of international trade and biosafety with particular reference to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The article also points to several pro-environmental initiatives that could be taken by the WTO.

Part I provides a brief review of the history of environment linkage in trade policy, beginning in 1923. Part II offers a general survey of WTO rules and policies with implications for the environment. Part III looks at the environmental components of the WTO's Doha Round negotiations. Part IV uses the example of biosafety to show why the traditional paradigm of the WTO as a trade-only agency needs to be replaced by a new paradigm.

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GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-6; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-6

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