The Regulatory Cooperation Chapter of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Institutional Structures and Democratic Consequences


Journal of International Economic Law

September 2015, vol. 18, n°3, pp.625-640

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the potential to remake political and legal relationships between the European Union (EU) and the USA and pave the way to a new form of global economic governance based on internationalregulatory cooperation. In particular, TTIP presents an historic opportunity for the EU and the USA to remove regulatory divergence—today’s most prominent obstacle to trade exchanges—thereby increasing economic growth for the citizens of both polities. Yet, the EU and the USA have been attempting to reduce trade barriers since the 1970s. Despite decades of cooperation, EU and US policymakers too often fail to mutually understand each other’s positions, giving rise to regulatory differences. As an international agreement predicted to contain a Horizontal Chapter—an innovative approach to international trade treaty-making containing a framework for future bilateral regulatory cooperation—TTIP has the potential to transform this impasse, if approached correctly. The envisaged chapter would provide a ‘gateway’ for handling sectoral regulatory issues between the EU and the USA, including by addressing both legislation and non-legislative acts, regardless of the level at which they are adopted and by whom. Yet with great promises come challenges too.This article focusses on the structure, scope, discipline, institutional design, enforcement,and implementation of the envisaged horizontal chapter, often defined Regulatory Cooperation Chapter. In so doing, it addresses some of the concerns currently raised by civil society, in particular the fear of a ‘race to the bottom’ that may stem from the operation of this chapter and provides some recommendations