Yiping Sun, Xiangyi Li, Tengyuan Zhang
Feb 1, 2022
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Although the relationship between trade and environment has been widely discussed in past studies, trade policy has been in a state of continuous change in recent years. Previous studies have focused on the impact of trade opening or liberalization on the environment, ignoring discussion of the dynamic changes of trade policy. Therefore, it is very important to explore the connection between trade policy changes and environmental pollution for future environmental protection. In order to realize the in-depth study of this mechanism, the paper will try to solve the following three problems: (1) What is the relationship between change in trade policy uncertainty and China’s environmental pollution? (2) What is the mechanism by which trade uncertainty changes environmental pollution? (3) Due to China’s vast territory and regional differences, will changes in trade policy uncertainty have heterogeneous effects due to regional differences? To solve these problems, based on China’s accession to the WTO at the end of 2001, this paper, for the first time, uses PM2.5 concentration data of 246 prefecture-level cities in China to explore the impact of trade policy uncertainty on China’s environmental pollution, then we make an in-depth analysis of the impact path and heterogeneity of urban spatial distribution and city size. We found that, after China’s accession to the WTO, the growth rate of PM2.5 concentration reduced in cities with lower trade policy uncertainty and the inhibition effect was different due to the spatial distribution of city size. A further mechanism test shows that reduction in trade policy uncertainty can improve environmental pollution through industrial, structural and technological effects.