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Environmental protection and the generalized system of preferences : a legal and appropriate linkage?

Switzer, Stephanie (2008) Environmental protection and the generalized system of preferences : a legal and appropriate linkage? International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 57 (1). 113 - 147. ISSN 0020-5893

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This article will question the legality of measures of environmental ‘conditionality’ in the Generalized System of Preferences [GSP] of the European Community [EC]. The GSP is a GATT/WTO authorized scheme which permits developed nations to grant non-reciprocal tariff preferences in favour of developing countries. The objectives of the GSP are primarily development-oriented in that it aims to increase the export earnings of developing countries, promote their industrialization and accelerate rates of economic growth. A recent case taken in the WTO examined the legal contours of the grant of tariff preferences and it is in the light of this that this article will examine the so-called ‘special incentive arrangements’ of the reformed EC GSP which offers additional tariff preferences to developing countries on the ‘condition’ that they adhere to specified standards of environmental protection.