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17 February 2014

TTIP "creating regulatory coherence"

As a sequel to the post just below on "Better Regulation can facilitate trade", experts may like to check out A. Alemanno's reflections on the upcoming transatlantic trade negotiations (TTIP), published on his blog, which summarize for us a recent trend towards regulatory convergence or coherence across the "pond" in support of the further development of commercial exchanges. Here is an extract: "Given the emphasis of the agreement on tackling regulatory barriers, both the EU and US claim that TTIP would be  (...) one of the first FTAs construed upon a horizontal (i.e. cross-sectoral), regulatory coherence chapter, which should also remain a ‘living’ agreement, capable of incorporating news areas and creating the conditions to continuously adapt towards greater regulatory compatibility. This chapter would apply to all goods and services sectors thus providing a general discipline for policymakers when monitoring existing regulations and adopting new ones (NB: regulations here refer to both legislative and regulatory measures). More specifically, this horizontal regime is set to promote regulatory convergence through the adoption of a suite of procedural requirements, such as public consultation, regulatory impact assessment (RIA extended to cross-border effects), early warnings, ex post analysis of existing regulations, etc. that build upon – rather than duplicating – existing procedures under the relevant WTO Agreements, i.e. SPS and TBT. These will be upgraded within TTIP by becoming SPS+ and TBT+, but we don’t know yet whether the additions to the current discipline will merely consist in further procedural requirements or other disciplines. At a time of growing international interest and policy diffusion of these meta-rules (i.e. rules about how to adopt rules) and relatively failure of the multilateral trade regime to address NTBs, the prospect of using participatory and analytical tools to promote rationality in regulatory decision-making beyond the nation-state appears extremely appealing."

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