The New Rules on Trade and Environment Linkage in Preferential Trade Agreements

Alberto do Amaral Júnior, Alebe Linhares Mesquita


The present paper aims to analyze the advancement of environmental provisions in Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs), more specifically, in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Even though the TPP might never enter into force due to political changes in the United States’ government, the rules established under it represent the new benchmark on trade and environment linkage. The language adopted in the Agreement is already guiding negotiations in the multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral level. This study is divided into three main sections. In the first section, the interplay between international trade and protection of the environment will be depicted. In the second section, the phenomenon of the advancement of environmental provisions in PTAs will be analyzed. In the third section, the environmental provisions consolidated in the TPP will be considered. The methodology adopted in the development of this research is bibliography, descriptive and exploratory. In conclusion, it can be asserted that incorporation of environmental provisions in PTAs has assumed an increasing importance in the efforts to render international trade and environmental protection mutually supportive and to achieve sustainable development goals. Among PTAs, the TPP stands out as the most modern advanced in terms of environmental provisions. However, the TPP’s analysis demonstrated that environmental consequences of the implementation of preferential trade agreements should be further assessed. This would allow the elaboration of preventive measures to overcome possible side effects, such as the increase of trade in fossil fuels or the reallocation of pollution intensive industries, due to the other trade liberalization provisions.


Environment; Preferential Trade Agreements; TPP

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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