Publication Details

Title: Liberalizing trade, not exporting rules: the limits to regulatory co-ordination in the EU's ‘new generation’ preferential trade agreements
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: 2015

© 2015 Taylor & Francis.The European Union (EU) is considered both an influential global regulator and a trade power. There is thus a common, if rather casual, assumption that the EU exports its regulations through preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Based on a close textual analysis of four early ‘new generation’ PTAs – those with Canada, Central America, Singapore and South Korea – and the Commission's opening position in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, this contribution challenges that assumption. Across a broad spectrum of regulatory issues there has been very limited regulatory co-ordination. Moreover, where it has occurred, it has focused on establishing the equivalence of different rules or on convergence based on international, not European, standards. This contribution thus demonstrates that the EU has not exported its regulations through ‘new generation’ PTAs. Moreover, it contends that the EU has not really tried to. It speculates that the EU has not sought to export aggressively its rules through new generation PTAs because of concern that opposition to regulatory change in its partners would jeopardize agreements that would benefit European firms.

Ivan Allen College Contributors:

Journal of European Public Policy, 22/9, 1253-75.

Related Departments:
  • School of International Affairs