1st Edition

Environmental Protection, China and International Trade
Greening the WTO Ban on Chinese Export Duties

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 8, 2021
ISBN 9780367753832
July 8, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book argues for a balanced approach to ‘greening’ the WTO ban on China’s export duties without opening the floodgates to protectionism.

As a result of the WTO’s controversial China—Raw Materials and China—Rare Earths decisions, China is prohibited from using export duties to address any environmental problems, including those associated with climate change. This is despite a number of climate studies having suggested that Chinese export duties could be useful for reducing carbon leakage, an issue of international concern. This book puts the case for a more balanced approach. It shows that a general ban on China’s export duties constrains its policy space to protect the environment, particularly in the context of climate change. The work presents feasibility tests for various legal solutions that have been discussed for adjusting the ban, and it accordingly proposes a more feasible approach that would allow China to help protect the environment without advancing protectionism. The proposed legal option provides a less protectionist alternative to export duties, namely ‘export duties plus’ that could be imposed in combination with supplementary restrictions on Chinese consumption. This analysis also yields insights regarding ways to correct WTO precedents, which suggests a moderate alternative response to the Appellate Body crisis within the WTO framework.

The book will be a valuable resource for academics, researchers and policy-makers in the areas of International Trade Law, Environmental Law and China.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part I: Setting the Scene: The Background and Reception of the WTO Ban on Chinese Export Duties

2. Three WTO Cases Against Chinese Export Duties

3. The Reception of the Ban on Chinese Export Duties: Concerns, Solutions, and the Missing Piece

Part II: Preliminary Analysis: Would a Harsh Prohibition on Chinese Export Duties Constrain China’s Capacity to Protect the Environment?

4. A Harsh Ban on Export Duties Would Prevent a Country from Protecting the Environment Under Certain Circumstances

    5. Rationales Behind Chinese Export Duties

    6. A Neglected Issue: Negative Impacts on China’s Capacity to Fight Climate Change

    Part III: Final Analysis: Is There a Way for China to Use Export Duties Legally in Order to Achieve Environmental Goals under WTO Law?

    7. Is There a Legal Path to a Desirable Policy Space for China Under WTO Law?

    8. China’s Policy Space for Adopting ‘Export Duties Plus’ Under GATT Article XX

      9. Implications of ‘Greening’ the WTO Ban on Chinese Export Duties

      View More



      Fengan Jiang is a Post-doctoral Researcher, Leiden University, the Netherlands.