Chapter 5: The new framework of transatlantic economic governance: strategic trade management and regulatory conflict in a multilateral global economy
5. The new framework of transatlantic economic governance: strategic trade management and regulatory conﬂict in a multilateral global economy Chad Damro and Alberta Sbragia INTRODUCTION Transatlantic economic relations have been gradually reshaped as the accomplishments of the liberal trading system negotiated during the postwar period have taken hold. Tariﬀ barriers to transatlantic trade, while still inﬂammatory at times, are no longer the primary concern of the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA). Rather non-tariﬀ barriers have achieved such prominence that the EU–USA economic relationship should be conceptualized in terms of both tariﬀ and non-tariﬀ barriers.1 In addition to non-tariﬀ barriers, highly developed regulatory regimes are increasingly creating important ‘behind-the-border’ barriers to trade for both economic and political reasons. Such regimes include so-called ‘economic regulation’, which focuses on the activity of ﬁrms as well as tax codes, and ‘social regulation’, which addresses issues related to public health and environmental protection. While these regulatory regimes have been constructed for the purposes of domestic public policy, they now reduce market access for foreign goods. In the case of transatlantic economic relations, therefore, the increasingly important barriers that inhibit trade are domestic regulations rather than simply tariﬀ and non-tariﬀ barriers. Given the initial political dynamics which led to the creation of such regulatory systems, it is perhaps not surprising that EU–US conﬂicts over regulatory diﬀerences are particularly intractable, politically salient and diﬃcult to resolve. Regulatory policy is often adopted after a considerable amount...
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