The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is planned to include a general chapter on regulatory cooperation, which is new for trade negotiations, but also proving to be one of the most challenging issues. Now that the European Commission has published its initial text for this chapter, we have adopted a new policy resolution that makes consumer recommendations for regulatory cooperation in TTIP. While we believe that cooperation among regulators to share information and raise consumer standards is desirable, the EU published text of the TTIP regulatory cooperation chapter is not designed to safeguard current or future consumer or other protections. Rather, it would create a red-tape leviathan, complete with an ‘oversight’ body, more avenues for lobbyists to influence, and additional impact assessments designed for trade matters only.
We do not believe this is an appropriate component of TTIP and so strongly recommend that there be no general chapter on regulatory cooperation in TTIP at all. If, however, the EU and US governments decide to proceed with such a chapter, we make a number of recommendations:
- To the extent it addresses regulatory process, a regulatory cooperation chapter should be limited to an outline of good practice principles, including in particular the need for public comment and meaningful stakeholder involvement.
- The scope of the horizontal regulatory cooperation chapter should be limited to EU level regulation and US federal level regulations.
- The sectors of the chapter application should cover only the sectors under negotiation, not specifically mandate excluded sectors such as data privacy or culture/audio-visual.
- There should be no requirement for separate trade impact assessments to be included.
- The chapter must make clear that regulatory cooperation is not subject to the investment rules of the TTIP.
- The negotiating text of both sides must be made available as it progresses to the public, not just governments and parliamentarians.
Please find the full resolution on regulatory cooperation in TTIP here.