TTIP – regulatory Cooperation on food and health issues
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This paper studies the TTIP negotiations in regulatory cooperation with an emphasis on food and health issues, in particular sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS measures). In order to put the current TTIP negotiations in context, the paper studies the history of the transatlantic regulatory cooperation going back to the 1990s. The paper includes assessments of some of the high-profiled disagreements and disputes between the EU and the U.S. on regulatory issues, such as the hormones case, the chlorinated poultry case and the case on GMOs – all dating back to the 1990s. The paper describes the role of mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures and equivalence assessments of regulations and standards, as means to facilitate trade, and analyses what role these regulatory tools may play in TTIP. Some critical regulatory issues of the TTIP negotiations are highlighted including institutional issues, and some pitfalls and possibilities for regulatory cooperation on these issues are analysed. The paper discusses some potential consequences of a TTIP Agreement, including also the consequences for thirdcountries such as Norway. Key conclusions are as follows: As the TTIP negotiations now stand, there is little to indicate dramatic changes in EU and U.S. regulatory approaches. However, if the EU and the U.S. succeed in setting up a strong institutional framework for regulatory cooperation, based on stronger stakeholder involvement and effective dispute settlement mechanisms, TTIP could have more substantial long-term effects on regulatory developments.