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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

explain the relation between short run average cost and short run marginal costs
explain the relation between short run average cost and short run marginal cost
explain the relation between short run average cost and short run marginal cost
explain the relation between short run average cost and short run marginal cost
briefly state the reasons for downwards sloping demand curve ?
The Reply
taste and preference
if John was given $10, he would spend none of it on tuna fish.But when asked, he claims to be indifferent between receiving $10 worth of tuna and a $ 10 bill.How could this be?
oliva Reply
Autonomous free demand
What is illustrates?
Anik Reply
things to do first as a manager when contacted to create a jewelry inventory system
Moses Reply
what is monopoly
Kadar Reply
in monopoly there in only one producer of the product and there in no substitute of that product in the market .The producer is price maker .
mono means single and poly means seller. so a single seller controls the entire market of a particular product. He is the price maker..
if x decreases and y decreases what slope is it
Elda Reply
what is duopoly
Femi Reply
it's a state where two people control over a market...
why ppf is downward
Ahmad Reply
i didn't understand
The PPF is downward because it shows the the unequal opportunity cost ratios existing in the allocation of resources in the production of two major goods/services in a given economy
due to opportunity cost.
this is because goods are sacrifice for the production of the other.
Weldon question and good answer . in my opinion when you allocate some more resources for production of one good among two.
any one what is the difference between need and want?
need is neccesory but want is temporary...
any idea about green leadership
trends in microeconomics
Worked out examples of calculating the elasticity of supply
Black Reply
briefly describe the term business cycle
Linda Reply
these are the different economic trends observed by an economy at a given time period. we have the slump,recession, recovery and boom
saran has decided always spend one 4th income on his clothes what is income elasticity of demand in hindi
Saba Reply
income elasticity is 4
what is diminishing returns?
diminishing returns states that as more variable in put is bing employed on a fixed factor marginal product increase attains maximum and falls certeris paribus.
The law of diminishing returns is the a phenomenon that happens when you gain less satisfaction or in another word less marginal utility when you keep on consuming the same thing over and over again. The more you have of something the less desirable it becomes .
My first post was about the law of diminishing marginal utility, it was meant for another post .
however to be precise the law of diminishing returns is used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.
or you can refer to the text it is mentioned that: "the law of diminishing returns    , which holds that as additional increments of resources are added to a certain purpose, the marginal benefit from those additional increments will decline. "
Diminishing returns states that when more and more variable inputs are being employed on a fixed input, total product and marginal product increases initially attains maximum and falls (certeris paribus) .
What is monopoly
benzi Reply
Its when one firm controls the entire market and is the price setter

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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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