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Abstract

Throughout the World Trade Organization's history, food certification has been the object of a series of disputes. In turn, food certification is an important element of environmental politics as it is often linked to the conservation of endangered species, promotion of sustainable agriculture and meat production, among others. How do domestic coalitions influence US compliance with WTO rulings in disputes involving food certification? A framework centered on domestic preferences is proposed and tested on the tuna-dolphin, shrimpturtle and country-of-origin labeling disputes. Through process-tracing, complemented with content analysis, the cases show that the analytical framework partially explains the dependent variable (compliance timing and outcome). In addition to preferences, the cases also call attention to the importance of judicial precedent and scientific findings in influencing compliance timing and outcome in the disputes analyzed. This contributes to the broader literature by unpacking mechanisms leading to compliance.

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