Balancing Trade and Health in the SPS Agreement: The Development Dimension


Denise Prévost
Pages: 1230 pages
Shipping Weight: 2500 gram
Published: 07-2009
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (hardcover) : 9789058504197

Product Description

The exponential increase in the speed and volume of trade and in the diversity of traded products in the last fifty years, and the accompanying proliferation of health risks and measures to address these risks, has meant that international trade regime, currently embodied in the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has had to find new ways of mediating the conflict between free trade and health protection. Acting on the interface of globalised trade and globalised health risks, is the WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement). It reflects a negotiated balance between the competing goals of the liberalisation of trade in the food and agricultural sector and the protection of health by national governments. This book explores this balance as reflected in the SPS Agreement, with a particular focus on its development dimension. More specifically, it addresses the question whether the SPS Agreement improves the opportunities of WTO Members at lower levels of development to gain market access for their food and agricultural exports by means of effective disciplines on the use of trade-restrictive SPS measures, while at the same time sufficiently respects the right of these, and all, WTO Members to protect health in their territories in a way that takes account of varying regulatory and institutional capacity and policy choices at different levels of development.In order to examine the impact of the SPS Agreement on WTO Members at different levels of development, the book conducts four case studies, namely of Australia, Mauritius, Jamaica and Bangladesh. Further, it examines the following issues in various chapters: 1. The background to the SPS Agreement; 2. National and international SPS regulation and standard-setting; 3. The rules balancing trade and health in the SPS Agreement; 4.The procedural and institutional mechanisms under the SPS Agreement; and 5. The special provisions for developing countries in the SPS Agreement. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of the rules contained in the SPS Agreement, in the light of the case law of WTO panels and the Appellate Body, in order to establish whether the trade/health balance aimed at by this Agreement is sought by means of disciplines that are appropriate and workable for less-developed WTO Members.