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De Gucht Keen To Solve TTIP Regulatory Issues

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

15 October 2013

Karel De Gucht has warned that removing regulatory barriers to trade will be among the toughest challenges faced by Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiators.

The European Trade Commissioner told a conference last week that regulation often "comes with a price." Of particular concern are the roles that regulation can play in blocking goods from entering a market and in making products more expensive. The complexity of systems, together with the traditions of regulators, and the variety of different regulations imposed in different countries, cause further issues.

De Gucht explained that the European Union (EU) will press for action in three key areas of reform. It will seek measures that will make existing regulations more compatible, encourage cooperation on future regulations, so as to avoid the erection of unnecessary trade barriers, and support this work by engaging with the "right" institutions.

De Gucht will propose that the TTIP establishes a new Regulatory Cooperation Council, which will "bring together the heads of the most important EU and US regulatory agencies." He intends that the Council would "monitor the implementation of commitments made and consider new priorities for regulatory cooperation – also in response to proposals from stakeholders."

"In some cases it could also ask regulators or standards bodies to develop regulations jointly that could then have a good chance of becoming international standards. Strong institutions like this will be key to making the TTIP a living agreement that promotes greater compatibility of our regimes and accelerates the development of global approaches," De Gucht added.

TAGS: tax | investment | European Commission | trade treaty | investment treaty | agreements | United States | standards | regulation | trade | European Union (EU) | Investment | Europe | Invest | Investment

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