The innovative and interactive online trend analytics tool, based on the Trade and Environment (TREND) database, which traces nearly 300 different environmental provisions in the texts of approximately 630 PTAs, offers new ways to go further and conduct research to provide detailed information on the interaction between trade and the environment and to provide a new insight into a series of relevant policy discussions. This briefing paper summarizes the latest research findings on the basis of TREND and provides a new overview of these issues and political discussions at the interface of international trade and the environment. Second, it is necessary to understand the interaction between the PTA and other environmental or climate agreements. To what extent do THE PTAs serve the objectives of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) or the Paris Agreement on Climate Change? The inclusion of environmental legislation in bilateral and regional trade agreements has also contributed to the harmonization of environmental legislation between developed and developing countries. Higher economies can provide resources and institutions for capacity building and encourage less developed partners to strengthen environmental legislation. The OECD has addressed many trade and environmental issues, such as environmental and regional agreements (ATRs), the drivers of RTA environmental legislation and the rigour of environmental policy as a driver of trade in environmental goods and services. We are also developing a series of policy indicators on trade and the environment to monitor progress towards greater policy coherence and to identify policy priorities at the interface of trade and the environment. The inclusion of environmental legislation can be controversial. For some, the integration of environmental legislation offers untapped potential for genuine environmental protection, making these agreements more compatible with environmental and climate policy. However, critics of trade often view these provisions as mere “vine leaves” contained in modern PTAs, in order to make them less controversial in the eyes of the public and the legislature. For other critics, they are an instrument of “green protectionism” to keep cheaper products from developing countries away from the market.
Given the government`s new focus on RENegotiating NAFTA and possibly other trade agreements, it is essential that the discussions have made it possible to understand and take into account the impact on the environment. Although the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is now rejected, it can learn from the future. The environmental chapter of the TPP contained several provisions that show how to deal with the effects on illegal fisheries, biodiversity and wild plants in future international trade agreements.