The TPP and Good Regulatory Practices: An Opportunity for Regulatory Coherence to Promote Regulatory Autonomy?
World Trade Review (2016 Forthcoming)
25 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 6, 2016
Chapters relating to regulatory coherence or cooperation are likely to be significant features of new preferential trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While the potential for harmonisation of standards or institutional cooperation to impact on the regulatory autonomy of treaty parties has been well considered, this article focuses on those elements of regulatory coherence that relate to domestic processes for the development of regulations. It examines whether the adoption of ‘good regulatory practices’ in accordance with the TPP will help to ensure that measures states enact to protect non-economic interests (such as the environment or public health) are consistent with other key obligations of international trade and investment law. Although many elements of good regulatory practice mirror the criteria used to distinguish legitimate regulatory measures from disguised protectionism, there is no guarantee that a tribunal will come to the same conclusions as those reached during a domestic impact assessment.
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