OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers

Selected studies addressing the policy interface between trade and environment prepared for use within the OECD. They address such issues a liberalizing trade in goods that affect the environment, and trade in environmental goods and services.


International Trade and the Transition to a More Resource Efficient and Circular Economy

A Concept Paper

The transition towards a more resource efficient and circular economy has broad linkages with international trade through the emergence of global value chains as well as trade in second-hand goods, end-of-life products, secondary materials and waste. Despite of the potential linkages between trade and the circular economy, the existing research on this issue is limited to date. For this reason, this paper highlights the potential interaction of international trade and the circular economy in order to map out potential issues to address and to guide further research areas to explore on this topic. The paper first briefly introduces the circular economy concept and how trade can come into play, second highlights the various ways in which trade and the circular economy can potentially interact with one another, and third briefly concludes with potential ways forward and next steps.


Keywords: trade and environment, trade policy, resource efficiency, circular economy, sustainable materials management, environment policy
JEL: Q56: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth; F18: International Economics / Trade / Trade and Environment; Q53: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling; O13: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
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