Promoting Environmental Standards Through Trade and Other Legal Mechanisms, Testimony of Durwood Zaelke Before the Subcommittee on International Development, Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy (March 23, 1994) (Zaelke)

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Chairman Frank, members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the issue of environmental standards and trade.

My name is Durwood Zaelke. I am the President of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), as well as an Adjunct Law Professor at the American University, Washington College of Law, where I also co-direct the joint CIEL/American University Research Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law. A list of CIEL’s recent research publications on trade and the environment is attached, as is an announcement for a workshop we are hosting March 25 at American University on Chile and NAFTA.

I am particularly pleased to be able to testify at your opening hearing, where you have asked that we keep the big picture in mind. I am afraid that too much of the debate recently has focused on efforts to reconcile the technical rules of trade and the environment, at the expense of the more fundamental question, which I would pose as how to use law, including trade law, to promote environmental standards to achieve ecologically sustainable development.

I would like to begin with some comments on market failures and the untenable environmental status quo, as well as the efforts to date of environmental law to address these failures and protect the environment. And then offer suggestions for change, focusing on the opportunity to develop a model of economic development CIEL is calling “competitive sustainability.”

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