Time to simplify trade agreements

Photo Credit: Getty

Over at National Review’s Capital Matters site, Kent Lassman and I make the case that trade agreements should stick to trade. We also argue that a smaller, easy-to-pass test case with Switzerland could pave the way for larger agreements with the UK, the EU, Japan, and other allies.

These simplified agreements would be based on mutual recognition of each other’s regulations:

Under mutual recognition, if American regulators approve a product, then it is automatically approved in partner countries, and vice versa. With that sort of regulatory trade barrier lowered, consumers can quickly benefit from wider selection, more affordable prices, and faster access to new innovations.

Producers would benefit from faster approval times and lower regulatory costs for pharmaceuticals, appliances, agricultural products, electronics, and countless other industries, while gaining access to new markets and new customers.

Read the whole piece here. For a more thorough treatment of the idea, see our recent CEI paper.