「貿易と環境」問題とレジーム間の相互作用:WTOと国際基準設定機関の関係から Explaining “Trade and the Environment” through Regime Interactions:The Case of the WTO and International Health and Safety Standard-Setting Bodies
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The “trade and the environment” issue has been hotly debated in the era of globalization. The links and conflicts between trade and environmental regimes are a consequence of the “legalization” of the world—the rising density of regimes and institutions in the international society. The purpose of this article is to develop a theoretical and analytical insight into explaining the “trade and the environment” issue, based on the study of “regime interactions.”<br>Various scholarly approaches have been provided for explaining overlapping international regimes. From the international law perspective, it has been viewed as a phenomenon of the “fragmentation of international law.” International legal scholars have been interested in the legal techniques dealing with conflicts between norms and rules. The “trade and the environment” issue had been largely dominated by such legal arguments. One the other hand, political scientists have begun to address overlapping international regimes from the view of “regime interactions” (or “institutional interplay”) —how activities in one regime affect another regime. Regime theory has been focused on the causes and effects of changes in a single regime. “Regime interactions,” on the other hand, address the interplay among two or more regimes which may influence a regime's decision-making or a state behavior.<br>This article applies the concept of “regime interactions” to the case of the WTO's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the “SPS Agreement”) and international health and safety standard-setting bodies (such as Codex Alimentarius Commission). On the one hand, the international bodies outside the WTO regime promulgate food safety, animal health, and phytosanitary standards with no binding force. On the other hand, the WTO SPS Agreement requires member states to base their measures on international standards, but member states can adopt stricter national regulations under certain conditions. Such domestic regulations have been considered part of the “trade and the environment” issues, since the domestic regulation can operate as either a measure for the protection of health and safety or unnecessary trade barriers.<br>A case study in this article focuses upon the interplay between the WTO's SPS regime and the Codex. The main lesson from this case is that “regime interactions” may generate legitimacy or accountability issues among regimes. While international standards adopted by the Codex inevitably influence the arguments and disputes in the WTO, the WTO in turn has begun to require the Codex to provide sufficient legitimacy in the standard-setting processes. There is no hierarchical order between the WTO and international standard-setting bodies; however, the interactions between these institutions initiated the changes in the Codex to be more responsible for its standard-setting processes. The mode of interactions in this case has posed a normative question of which forms of governance arrangements are desirable in health and safety problems in the non-hierarchical world.
- International Relations
International Relations 2008(153), 106-121, 2008
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