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Standards as Transatlantic Trade Barriers: Is There a Future for EU-US Regulatory Cooperation ?



Despite that transatlantic trade negotiations are in halt, an economic and strategic case for cooperation continues to prompt the EU and US to look for other options to engage in reducing trade barriers. One of the areas that carry a great potential is regulatory cooperation, on which, despite the TTIP’s ‘deep freeze’, the parties have made several follow-ups within the bilateral meetings. Following this route, it is likely that eventually some of the problematic regulatory cooperation topics that have been troubling policymakers when TTIP was under discussion would reemerge. This paper addresses the possibilities for transatlantic cooperation on standards. It describes the main features of the EU and US standards development systems to pinpoint their fundamental differences, which confine the possibilities for future cooperation. It also outlines the risks that closer forms of cooperation could entail, as well as discusses some opportunities to address divergences in standards across the Atlantic.


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