The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Challenges and Opportunities for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection in the Area of Engineering

15-07-2015

The European Engineering industry, by far the biggest exporter of goods to the US, suffers from a range of TBTs (Technical Barriers to Trade) when exporting to the US. After two decades of trying – in vain - to reduce the costs of these TBTs, TTIP should address them, yielding significant economic gains. US standards, relevant for US safety regulation, are very rarely international standards from ISO and IEC, in sharp contrast with the EU. This is costly for EU exporters. Conformity assessment issues related to OSHA requirements (US regulator) should be resolved as EU exporters suffer from a triple cost disadvantage. The US insistence of ‘mutual recognition of standards’ is not a solution at all, undermining the EU single standard environment and ‘trading in’ a first best (world standard) solution for a second-best one, if not worse. Over time globalisation increases the pressure to find effective US/EU solutions.

The European Engineering industry, by far the biggest exporter of goods to the US, suffers from a range of TBTs (Technical Barriers to Trade) when exporting to the US. After two decades of trying – in vain - to reduce the costs of these TBTs, TTIP should address them, yielding significant economic gains. US standards, relevant for US safety regulation, are very rarely international standards from ISO and IEC, in sharp contrast with the EU. This is costly for EU exporters. Conformity assessment issues related to OSHA requirements (US regulator) should be resolved as EU exporters suffer from a triple cost disadvantage. The US insistence of ‘mutual recognition of standards’ is not a solution at all, undermining the EU single standard environment and ‘trading in’ a first best (world standard) solution for a second-best one, if not worse. Over time globalisation increases the pressure to find effective US/EU solutions.