CEI Files Comments on Transatlantic Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10, 2013—The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed comments today on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The United States and European Union have said they will begin talks on the trade agreement this year.

CEI’s comments urge policymakers to focus their negotiations on the following:

Removing Remaining Tariffs: It has been estimated that getting rid of tariffs on merchandise trade between the EU and the U.S. would increase EU exports to the U.S. by up to $69 billion, while U.S. exports to the EU could increase by up to $53 billion.

Rejecting Regulatory Harmonization that Creates Obstacles to Growth and Job Creation: Often policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic, in reviewing the regulatory state’s complexity and lack of uniformity, call for “harmonization” of regulations. However, such harmonization can lead to conformity and stagnation – resulting in superior alternatives not being explored.

Rejecting the Precautionary Principle: The precautionary principle, sometimes invoked as an approach that governments should embrace to deal with risks, biases the process of “decision-making under uncertainty” against the new.

Improving Food Safety and Quality Through Greater Information, Consumer Choice, and Legal Accountability: Few issues are as important to consumers in both the U.S. and the EU as the safety and quality of their food. But poorly conceived government regulation often does as much to compromise food safety, affordability, and choice as to promote it—especially when the regulatory framework is focused on a fear-driven activist agenda.

Addressing these regulatory issues and others will ensure the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership promotes free and open trade without getting “mired in a regulatory morass,” CEI argues.

>> Read the comments here.