Bringing Trade and Environmental Norms Together: The Case of the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations

Youngjeen Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protecting the environment is not a new topic in international trade law. The growing environmental impacts of globalization have made protecting the environment an increasingly pressing issue. In fisheries subsidies negotiations since 2001, WTO members have attempted to introduce environmental norms into the existing trade law framework. After examining the draft text and the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement, this article finds it difficult and inappropriate to assess and regulate purely environmental issues through the lens of trade agreements, particularly the SCM Agreement. The draft text and the Agreement reveal conflicts with the basic concepts, principles, and framework of WTO law and do not ensure effective conservation of fisheries stocks. Based on these findings, this article argues that, as much as the conservation of fish stocks is imperative, it should be done in a manner consistent with the basic framework of international law and international trade law.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAsian International Studies Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2022.


  • Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • environment
  • fisheries subsidies
  • negotiations


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