TTIP: Opportunities and Challenges in the Area of Technical Barriers to Trade, Including Standards

15-06-2015

The study explores the possibilities for reducing the costs of technical barriers to trade (TBTs) between the US and the EU, found in standardisation, technical regulations and/or conformity assessment procedures and acceptance of their results. This is important for many industrial sectors but also horizontally as TBTs generally. The EU proposal is ambitious, but without a US text, feasibility is hard to assess, given that the two systems differ considerably. A preliminary attempt to construct the US demands and some partial solutions for TTIP are discussed. The ‘living agreement’ is critical for an effective TBT chapter and needs to be given time, as long as it is driven by an agreed ambitious objective of reducing TBTs as much as possible.

The study explores the possibilities for reducing the costs of technical barriers to trade (TBTs) between the US and the EU, found in standardisation, technical regulations and/or conformity assessment procedures and acceptance of their results. This is important for many industrial sectors but also horizontally as TBTs generally. The EU proposal is ambitious, but without a US text, feasibility is hard to assess, given that the two systems differ considerably. A preliminary attempt to construct the US demands and some partial solutions for TTIP are discussed. The ‘living agreement’ is critical for an effective TBT chapter and needs to be given time, as long as it is driven by an agreed ambitious objective of reducing TBTs as much as possible.