Governing Science and Technology under the International Economic Order
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Governing Science and Technology under the International Economic Order

Regulatory Divergence and Convergence in the Age of Megaregionals

Edited by Shin-yi Peng, Han-Wei Liu and Ching-Fu Lin

Against the backdrop of the recent trend towards megaregional trade initiatives, this book addresses the most topical issues that lie at the intersection of law and technology. By assessing international law and the political economy, the contributing authors offer an enhanced understanding of the challenges of diverging regulatory approaches to innovation.
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Chapter 11: Megaregional transformation of global food safety governance: Normative roots and ramifications

Ching-Fu Lin

Abstract

Over the past several decades, the governance of food safety has been framed by various norms and actors at multiple levels, in particular the WTO and its Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). The recent conclusion of the TPP/CPTPP negotiations in October 2015, however, represents a defining moment not only in trade liberalization, but also in food safety governance. Despite its unsettled future, the TPP/CPTPP in many ways serves as a crucial model as well as a major catalyst, leading to further transformation in the interactions between regulatory autonomy and international cooperation. While harmonization with international standards, scientific principle, risk analysis, and transparency still serve as the fundamental rubric of SPS cooperation, the cross-cutting of regulatory coherence rules, such as notice-and-comment requirements, cost-benefit analysis, and regulatory impact assessment, will come into play in significantly relevant and important ways. This chapter uses the TPP/CPTPP’s SPS Chapter as a vantage point to explore the transformation of food safety governance in the era of megaregionals. By referencing the WTO SPS Agreement and other essential legal instruments, this chapter analyzes the SPS-plus institutional designs therein and discusses their normative interactions with the Regulatory Coherence Chapter and, more broadly, the WTO multilateral trading system.

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