Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Betsy Baker

First Page



In this Article, Dean Baker examines the compatibility of multilateral environmental agreements with the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The author discusses the key provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the GATT. The author then reviews the conflict between unilateral environmental protection and open and free trade under the GATT. The author concludes the collective interests represented by international environmental agreements, and the agreements themselves, should provide a refutable presumption of validity and GATT compatibility to the extent they are relied upon to justify a state's seemingly unilateral actions to protect the environment.