A Historical Review of the U.S. Strategy on SPS and TBT Issues in Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiation
15 Asian J. WTO & Int'l Health L & Pol'y 539 (2020)
27 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2021
Date Written: September 26, 2020
With the decline of custom duties, non-tariff measures have become significant barriers to international trade. While multilateral trade rules under the World Trade Organization hereinafter WTO ”) address concerns over non-tariff measures, many bilateral or regional free trade agreements also tackle this controversial problem by incorporating “WTO Plus” provisions to further liberalize foreign markets. In sectors regarding trade in food, agricultural or health-related products such as medical devices pharmaceutical s and cosmetic s sanitary and phytosanitary ( hereinafter SPS ”) measures and technical barriers to trade ( hereinafter TBT ”) are among those “behind the border” measures that governments may easily create unwarranted obstacles to trade while claiming to achieve legitimate policy objectives such as protection of public health. Given the significance of non-tariff barriers to trade, how to address SPS and TBT matters becomes a major issue in the negotiation of Trans-Pacific Partnership ( hereinafter TPP ”) Agreement, originally lead by the United States (hereinafter “U. S.”). Despite the U S s withdraw from the TPP in 2017, most rules under the SPS and TBT chapters survive in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership ( hereinafter“ CPTPP ”). This paper will examine relevant “SPS Plus” and “TBT Plus” provisions in the CPTPP with a historical look at the U.S. original proposals, and provide preliminary assessment of possible impact on food safety and public health.
Keywords: sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT), Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), SPS Plus, TBT Plus, WTO Plus, non tariff barriers, international standards, harmonization, conformit
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