The first ever (ok, the second: however the polyethelyne case was settled before a report) WTO case concerned the environment (US Gasoline). The first ever EU action against Russia as a Member of the WTO also concerns the environment: the EU early July kick-started dispute settlement proceedings against Russia, protesting against the fee which Russia plans to introduce on the import of cars. The EU’s complaint has in the meantime been joined by Japan, with the US reported to be following suit.
The allegations are that the fee is discriminatory, not just vis-a-vis Russian production, but also among imports (Kazakhstan and Belarus are exempt); and that the alleged environmental aims are in reality disguised protectionism.
The complaint supplements the ever-growing list of trade and environment /public health cases at the WTO. These are exciting times for those of us keeping a keen eye on that area! (and trying to…
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