EU Economic Governance and Globalization
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EU Economic Governance and Globalization

Edited by Miriam L. Campanella and Sylvester Eijffinger

It is through a gradual evolution, rather than by grand design, that the somewhat fragmented economic policies of the EU now appear to be heading towards a rather more robust and coherent economic governance. EU Economic Governance and Globalization considers the following crucial question as the EU enters its final stage of institution-building; will the economic institutions of the EU push ahead to reform its rigid national economies and open them up to globalization and international competition?
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Chapter 5: The new framework of transatlantic economic governance: strategic trade management and regulatory conflict in a multilateral global economy

Chad Damro and Alberta Sbragia

Extract

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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