Addressing Regulatory Trade Barriers in Mega-Regional Trade Agreements

  • Simon LesterEmail author
  • Inu ManakEmail author


Mega-Regional trade agreements are generating a lot of discussion over the future shape and scope of international trade regimes. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU break some new ground with old issues. In particular, regulatory trade barriers have come into focus as an area ripe for cooperation that is predicted to yield great benefits. In this chapter, we examine how these three mega-regionals approach this issue. First, we provide a conceptual framework for understanding regulatory trade barriers, separating them into three core categories: regulatory protectionism, regulatory divergence, and regulatory reform. Next, we examine how regulatory cooperation is envisioned across these mega-regionals, noting, inter alia, where they remain vague on obligations, and where they take innovative steps. Ultimately, the success of regulatory cooperation will depend on how these chapters are implemented in practice. Though they lay a promising groundwork, we remain cautious in predicting how broad an impact they will have.


Regional Trade Barriers Comprehensive Economic And Trade Agreement (CETA) Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP) Appellate Body Report Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cato InstituteWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of GovernmentGeorgetown UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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