China's foreign trade and environmental protection

2022-08-24
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China's foreign trade and environmental protection under the WTO mechanism (Part 1)

Abstract: closely focusing on the interaction between trade and environment, combined with the relevant basic principles of the WTO, this paper systematically analyzes the severe challenges faced by China's foreign trade and environmental protection, and analyzes the impact of green barriers on China's trade. On this basis, this paper puts forward some countermeasures for the relationship between environmental protection and foreign trade after China's accession to the WTO

key words: Countermeasures for green barriers to trade

the relationship between trade and environment has been discussed warmly in the international community in the past decade, and it also poses an important challenge to the world trade organization. It became a hot issue because of two major events in the field of international environment and international trade in the 1990s: the United Nations Conference on environment and Development held in Brazil in 1992; The completion of the Uruguay round of GATT negotiations in 1993 and the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995. The two marks that the cause of environmental protection and the liberalization and globalization of international trade have reached a new height

to join the WTO, we must implement the regulations of member countries, including the WTO on environmental and trade issues. In the process of comprehensive docking with the international market, how to adapt to the agreements reached in the WTO multilateral trading system on Trade and environmental issues, and how to break through the increasingly stringent environmental technical barriers of western developed countries and improve the environmental competitiveness of export commodities in the face of rising green demand are one of the important factors for whether China's foreign trade and export environment can be truly improved after China's entry into WTO, It is also a problem that we need to study in depth

I. interaction between trade and environment

(I) trade and the film blown out by high-pressure PE is suitable for the relationship between various fresh-keeping bags and the environment

there is a close relationship between trade and the environment. On the one hand, environment is the basis of trade. Whether primary products, intermediate products, or finished products; Whether it is product trade, service trade or license trade, it has a close relationship with environmental quality; On the other hand, trade has also changed the environment. As the development of international trade accelerates the destruction of the environment, the environmental situation tends to deteriorate, and the living space of mankind is threatened. Environmentalists believe that the growth of international trade is at the expense of the environment and the survival rights of future generations, and is the culprit of global environmental degradation

first of all, it should be clear that the fundamental purpose of trade and environmental protection is the same. The purpose of trade is to maintain an open, non discriminatory and fair multilateral trading system, but at the same time, it should improve human living standards and make the best use of world resources according to the goal of sustainable development. The purpose of environmental protection is to improve the living standards of all people, better protect and manage the ecosystem, and strive for a safer and more prosperous future

however, due to the different specific objectives of trade and environment, the value orientations of both sides are opposed. The goal of international trade policy is to eliminate trade barriers and realize trade liberalization and globalization. Therefore, it requires reducing government regulation and intervention and implementing decentralization and decentralization. On the contrary, the goal of environmental protection is to prevent the failure of the market, including the negative impact of free trade on the environment, protect and improve the environment. Therefore, it requires a certain degree and form of government regulation and intervention, and a certain range of power concentration. It is generally believed that the relationship between trade and environment is antagonistic. As long as one aspect is developed, it will harm the other. That is, the stricter the environmental control, the more it will hinder free trade, or the more developed the free trade, the more serious the environmental pollution and natural damage will be

(II) conflict between environmental protection and trade freedom in practice

the discussion on the relationship between trade and environment has lasted for at least five years, which is full of conflicts of interest, reflecting the different interests and needs of different members. In practice, the arguments of all parties are mainly reflected in the fact that while protecting the environment, it may have a negative impact on the test results that show the purpose of free trade of WTO, and the development of free trade will cause damage to the environment. For this reason, some scholars have pointed out that if the relationship between environmental protection and the reduction of trade barriers cannot be well coordinated, the efforts of the international community to promote trade liberalization in the past half century will be in vain

first of all, the increasing liberalization and openness of trade make people pay more attention to the profits from trade. Many developed countries use free trade to plunder strategic resources. They obtain natural resources from developing countries in various ways, resulting in serious imbalance of the ecological environment in these countries, and blindly pursue trade expansion and capital accumulation, The large-scale development mode and lifestyle of industrialization have caused the rapid deterioration of the global environment. Therefore, many scholars call for the reform of the GATT/WTO system and the revision of its legal principles, so that free trade and environmental protection can develop together and harmoniously, without making free trade a predatory development that exhausts all resources, so as to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable development

secondly, the implementation of environmental protection policies has become an obstacle to trade freedom to some extent. Dr. tolba, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), once questioned this at the "seminar on developing countries and international environmental law" held in Beijing in 1991: "have a series of legal efforts to protect the environment inadvertently created trade protectionism?" Arbitrary discrimination and hidden protection are contrary to the theme of free trade, but often some countries unilaterally formulate discriminatory treatment and trade protectionism legislation under the excuse of environmental protection, which is mainly reflected in the emergence of new trade protection measures - green trade fortress. Its concealment and non-tariff manifestations make the already difficult road of trade liberalization more difficult

but once the problem goes to the other extreme, it is also difficult to solve. Some people accuse the WTO so. Many companies say that environmental protection is a new trade fortress, and the WTO is manipulated by them, which has greatly hit the environmental protection movement

thirdly, the formulation and unification of environmental standards is also an issue that cannot be ignored. Due to the different economic levels, historical conditions and realistic national conditions of various countries, the environmental standards of various countries also differ. Who will formulate the standards on environmental pollution? Whether it is for governments of various countries to go their own way, or for the international community to formulate a standard acceptable to most countries through the increasingly extensive agreement of Plexiglas materials, some people even worry that the international unified standard may become a synonym for the minimum standard, and the formulation of their own environmental standards by various countries will cause a series of problems. Environmental standards are an important factor affecting the environmental cost of commodities. On the premise that countries have the right to formulate their own environmental standards, different environmental standards, like factor endowment, will affect a country's comparative advantage

simply speaking, products from countries with high environmental standards have high environmental costs and expensive prices. This will affect its competitiveness in the international market. For example, in the tuna case between the United States and Mexico, Mexico lost its comparative advantage in this regard because the United States increased the fishing cost of Mexico by restricting the fishing methods of tuna through its strict environmental standards

II. China's foreign trade is facing the challenge of environmental problems

(I) the negative impact of the rapid growth of foreign trade on China's ecology and environment

the rapid development of the national economy and the continuous expansion of the scale of foreign trade have brought about increasingly prominent environmental and ecological impacts, which are mainly reflected in the following two aspects:

on the one hand, for a long time, due to the lack of funds and experience in the development of foreign trade, Poor management, as well as some mistakes in decision-making, did not pay full attention to the protection of the ecological environment in the pursuit of economic development, which once led to the destruction of the ecological environment due to the blind development of export products, and the specific force on the specific indenter such as the imported hazardous waste was imposed by the Rockwell hardness testing machine, resulting in significant environmental losses. For example, from 1982 to 1993, China exported 799 tons of Nostoc flagelliforme, earning US $31.26 million in foreign exchange. On the surface, it seems to have high economic benefits, but its damage to the ecological environment is shocking

it is reported that due to the blind mining of Nostoc flagelliforme, more than 200 square kilometers of land around Erenhot has been desertification or serious desertification. For another example, some township enterprises along the coast of Guangdong blindly import a large number of toxic wastes such as non-ferrous metal waste residues and old automobile batteries, and their regeneration process has caused great pollution to the local ecological environment

on the other hand, in order to protect their own ecological environment, developed countries not only force developing countries to sell natural resources cheaply through the unreasonable international economic order, but also transfer high resource consumption, heavy pollution industries and hazardous wastes to developing countries through various improper ways, directly damaging the environmental rights and interests of developing countries. Since the reform and opening up, the number of enterprises and investment in China's highly polluting industries have increased dramatically. For example, in 1991, the export volume of heavily polluting products reached more than 20 billion US dollars, accounting for 36% of the total export volume of that year. Among them, the export volume of highly polluting products, such as pesticides, dyes, coke, leather products, printing and dyeing products, asbestos and its products, paper, pulp, etc., reached 7.85 billion US dollars, accounting for 12.8% of the total export volume

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