Part I of this Article provides a brief overview of the dominant discourse on linkages, which focuses on whether World Trade Organization (“WTO”) rules should be modified (or interpreted) to permit trade restrictions on environmental and labor rights grounds. Those fully familiar with the competing conventional approaches to trade-environment and trade-labor debates may either skim Part I or move directly to Part II. Parts II through V examine the political economy of trade-environment and trade-labor policy, particularly in the United States. Part II addresses the politics of trade-environment agenda setting and the reasons why U.S. critics more likely direct their criticism at the WTO instead of environmental policy decisions made domestically. Part III turns to the trade-labor linkage, again assessing the domestic politics behind the predominant focus on trade restrictions. It examines the apparent paradox (at first blush) that the demand for binding WTO labor norms is strongest in the United States, which arguably offers the fewest labor and social protections in the developed world. Part IV briefly addresses what potentially could be accomplished multilaterally through better coordination of the roles of international trade, development, and other economic institutions. Part V concludes with a discussion of the nexus between U.S. domestic politics and the WTO's future development. The links between U.S. domestic politics and international trade-environment/trade-labor policy help compose the WTO's blue-green blues.
WTO Blue-Green Blues: The Impact of U.S. Domestic Politics on Trade-Labor, Trade-Environment Linkages for the WTO's Future,
24 Fordham Int'l L.J. 608
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol24/iss1/24