The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Parliamentary Dimension of Regulatory Cooperation

09-04-2014

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) presents a historic opportunity for the EU and the US to remove regulatory divergence thereby increasing economic growth. Yet, with great promises come challenges too. The EU and the US have been attempting to reduce trade barriers since the 1970s, and parliamentarians from both sides of the Atlantic have since the 1990s been working to institutionalise these efforts through dialogues and committees, as epitomised by the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue. While this report reviews these efforts, the general conclusion is an overall lack of success: regulatory differences remain as neither side has the incentives to consider the extraterritorial effects of its regulations. As an international agreement predicted to contain a Horizontal Chapter, TTIP has the potential to transform this impasse, if approached correctly. The Horizontal Chapter would provide a ‘gateway’ for handling sectoral regulatory issues between the EU and the US, including by addressing both legislation and non-legislative acts. The development of such a framework for transatlantic regulatory cooperation raises questions in relation to its interactions with the parties’ respective legislatures, the EP and the US Congress. This report examines the potential parliamentary roles, and their implications for the EU legal order. It concludes with recommendations designed to identify the most appropriate avenues to ensure parliamentarian involvement and connect transatlantic parliamentary cooperation with the institutional operation of TTIP.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) presents a historic opportunity for the EU and the US to remove regulatory divergence thereby increasing economic growth. Yet, with great promises come challenges too. The EU and the US have been attempting to reduce trade barriers since the 1970s, and parliamentarians from both sides of the Atlantic have since the 1990s been working to institutionalise these efforts through dialogues and committees, as epitomised by the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue. While this report reviews these efforts, the general conclusion is an overall lack of success: regulatory differences remain as neither side has the incentives to consider the extraterritorial effects of its regulations. As an international agreement predicted to contain a Horizontal Chapter, TTIP has the potential to transform this impasse, if approached correctly. The Horizontal Chapter would provide a ‘gateway’ for handling sectoral regulatory issues between the EU and the US, including by addressing both legislation and non-legislative acts. The development of such a framework for transatlantic regulatory cooperation raises questions in relation to its interactions with the parties’ respective legislatures, the EP and the US Congress. This report examines the potential parliamentary roles, and their implications for the EU legal order. It concludes with recommendations designed to identify the most appropriate avenues to ensure parliamentarian involvement and connect transatlantic parliamentary cooperation with the institutional operation of TTIP.