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The Impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on International Cooperation

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Edited By Elżbieta Czarny, Andżelika Kuźnar and Jerzy Menkes

This book gathers Polish and foreign scholars to consider diverse aspects of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It examines key general areas such as the improvement of the position of the negotiating parties in the world economy, in politics and in international organisations. The contributors analyze possible acceleration of non-discriminatory liberalisation negotiations, creation of new international standards or reducing regulatory differences, such as «Investor-state dispute settlement» (ISDS), public health, geographical indications. The contributions focus also on specific issues, such as the impact of TTIP on Polish and EU economy, on merchandise and services trade, energy supply, research and development, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), or on the third parties.

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Chapter 3. Regulatory Cooperation Under the TTIP. If You Can Read This, You’re Too Close

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1. Introduction

One of the paradoxes of economic globalisation is that ever-closer economic ties mean that any significant global agreement would fundamentally reshape the entire picture, which renders highly desired agreements difficult to reach. This is, for instance, the case of the never-ending WTO Doha negotiation round (Lamy 2013). As a result, regionalisation of trade and investment agreements increases transaction costs for business, and hence, the need for regulatory convergence. The easiest and perhaps most democratic way would be to adopt a quasi-universal agreement with which at least all states could voice their concerns. In this case, civil society and the business community would probably try to contribute towards the standards-setting.

Although the easiest route does not appear available anytime soon, it does not mean that we are doomed to regulatory havoc. There are at least two alternatives: a trickle-up or trickle-down process. The first would be through voluntary self-regulation by producers and traders. As particular standards gain popularity and become market benchmarks, the pressure on others to comply with such norms increases. What is probably even more intriguing is the opposite, or the trickle-down scenario. Here, several major rule-setters adopt norms they hope will be imposed on others thanks to their relative weight in international economic relations. This is, for instance, the case of regulatory works by the International Standardisation Organisation, an entirely private body (Prakash, Potoski 2006).

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