Trade and Environment
World trade has doubled over the past decade. The relationship between the rules of international trade, particularly those established under the agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and national and international environmental, health and safety law and policy continues to grow in complexity and importance. Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. was one of the first law firms to provide sophisticated counsel to clients on emerging “trade and environment” issues, and the Firm continues to advise clients regularly on developments in this expanding area of international law. Perhaps most significantly, the Firm and its attorneys have promoted the interests of clients in this regard through direct representation at the negotiations of several multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) containing trade-related measures. Our recent work in this area includes:
- Work on behalf of U.S. industry to promote the United States’ granting of “permanent normal trade relations” to China, by raising awareness of ways in which WTO accession could promote sounder environmental, health and safety regulation in China;
- Counseling a major chemical industry association on trade and environment issues as part of the Firm’s representation of this client at ongoing negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to develop global environmental agreements to control production, use and trade of certain hazardous chemicals;
- Advising a major aviation sector association regarding WTO rights and obligations relating to environmental regulation of air transport services and trade in aircraft;
- Counseling the processed food industry on trade and environment issues in connection with negotiations for the Cartagena Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity addressing trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs);
- Updating clients on developments at the WTO, including the activities of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE); and
- Advising clients on the environmental aspects of existing and proposed trade and investment agreements, including environmental issues arising under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the recent effort to conclude a Multilateral Agreement on Investment within the OECD, and the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).