Effective Pollution Control in Industrialized Countries: International Economic Disincentives, Policy Responses, and the Gatt

It is generally recognized that efforts toward meaningful pollution control by an industrialized nation or group of nations raise economic problems at the international level. Discussion has touched upon the balance of trade and the effects for developing countries. Yet there seems to have been little attempt to analyze how these problems will manifest themselves and how they may be resolved within the current international legal-economic ordering system. This Article cannot deal with them all, but will examine closely the international competitive disincentives to truly effective pollution-control efforts in the industrialized countries, where environmental imperatives bear heavily on national decision-makers. Such an examination will suggest policies likely to be adopted by those countries to deal ·with the economic disincentives-policies that may exacerbate existing strains on the legal framework for world trade, embodied in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It will also bring into focus the economic arguments from the standpoint of the industrialized countries for effective multinational coordination of national pollution-control efforts.