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After all, environmental protection is vital to two industries of key importance in many low-income countries—agriculture and tourism. Environmental advocates can set up standards for labeling products, like “this tuna caught in a net that kept dolphins safe” or “this product made only with wood not taken from rainforests,” so that consumer pressure can reinforce environmentalist values. These values are also reinforced by the United Nations, which sponsors treaties to address issues such as climate change and global warming, the preservation of biodiversity, the spread of deserts, and the environmental health of the seabed. Countries that share a national border or are within a region often sign environmental agreements about air and water rights, too. The WTO is also becoming more aware of environmental issues and more careful about ensuring that increases in trade do not inflict environmental damage.

Finally, it should be noted that these concerns about the race to the bottom or pressuring low-income countries for more strict environmental standards do not apply very well to the roughly half of all U.S. trade that occurs with other high-income countries. Indeed, many European countries have stricter environmental standards in certain industries than the United States.

The unsafe consumer products argument

One argument for shutting out certain imported products is that they are unsafe for consumers. Indeed, consumer rights groups have sometimes warned that the World Trade Organization would require nations to reduce their health and safety standards for imported products. However, the WTO explains its current agreement on the subject in this way: “It allows countries to set their own standards.” But it also says “regulations must be based on science. . . . And they should not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between countries where identical or similar conditions prevail.” Thus, for example, under WTO rules it is perfectly legitimate for the United States to pass laws requiring that all food products or cars sold in the United States meet certain safety standards approved by the United States government, whether or not other countries choose to pass similar standards. However, such standards must have some scientific basis. It is improper to impose one set of health and safety standards for domestically produced goods but a different set of standards for imports, or one set of standards for imports from Europe and a different set of standards for imports from Latin America.

In 2007, Mattel recalled nearly two million toys imported from China due to concerns about high levels of lead in the paint, as well as some loose parts. It is unclear if other toys were subject to similar standards. More recently, in 2013, Japan blocked imports of U.S. wheat because of concerns that genetically modified (GMO) wheat might be included in the shipments. The science on the impact of GMOs on health is still developing.

The national interest argument

Some argue that a nation should not depend too heavily on other countries for supplies of certain key products, such as oil, or for special materials or technologies that might have national security applications. On closer consideration, this argument for protectionism proves rather weak.

Questions & Answers

TU=3Q2-2Q+4.what is Total utlity maximize?
Lema Reply
what is demand
Brenda Reply
Total utlity=3Q2-2Q+4.what is maximum TU?
Lema
with excues,can i help you this question?
Lema
Where can i find the Quizzes
Thubelihle Reply
what is ppf?
Ishimwe Reply
production possibility frontier
Alam
the production possibility frontier (PPF) is a curve that illustrates the variations in the amounts that can be produced of two products if both depend upon the same finite resource for their manufacture
Alam
thank you!
Ishimwe
it is the production possibility frontier
Brenda
In perfect competition, some firms make profit, others breakeven and others make losses. Explain
ALVIN Reply
define law of demand and draw demand curve
Naseer Reply
state that the higher the price of a product the lower the quantity demanded
nonduduzo
what is the price elasticity of demand a unit free measure of the sensitivity of the quantity demand to a price change?
ada Reply
what is normative economics
kanakadurga Reply
In normative economics we try to understand whether a mechanism is desirable or not.
arshad
not
Mark
consider the market for chocolate chip cookies .suppose there is an increase in the price of cake flour used in the production of chocolate chip cookies . Demonstrate graphically and explain the effects this will have on the equilibrium price and quantity of chocolate chip cookies.
Costa Reply
what is price demand?
Alamin Reply
what is the price demand ?
Alamin
what is cardinal approach?
Alamin
importance of elasticity to an economy
Nayiga Reply
what is elasticity
Costa Reply
elasticity refers to the measurement of a percentage change of one economic variable in response to a change in another. Primarily, this percentage change will follow a change in price relative to changes in other factors.
Abdullahi
When desire of goods increases what is the respond of its prices?
abubakar Reply
Then definitely price of Good will increase, As Demand has direct relation with the price
Alam
Right
abubakar
Qd=200 and Qs=5+2p . find the equilibrium price and quantity
Margret Reply
what is mean by 2 p
Alam
as Q is Quantity d for demand and S for supply and what is p stand for
Alam
at equilibrium quantity demand is equal to quantity supply therefore Qd=Q's 200-p=5+2p 200-5=2p+p 195=3p p = 65 thus equilibrium price is equal to 65 and equilibrium quantity is equal to 195
Wani
2 p means price of product is 2
Wani
what is de law of demand
NAANMET Reply
All other things been equal, the law of states that the higher the price of a commodity the higher the quantity demanded. Vice versa
Nancy
the law of demand state that as the price of the goods increase the quantity demand decrease. considering all other factor to be constant.
Zaiveisho
the higher the price,the lesser the demand
Brenda

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Source:  OpenStax, Microeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11627/1.10
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