30 Jun 2014
Toward alignment of carbon standards under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Working paper by Kateryna Holzer
With its wide coverage of economic spheres and the variety of trade and investment measures currently under negotiation, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) opens windows of opportunity for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The paper examines the possible avenues and the WTO law implications for the alignment of emissions standards between the European Union (EU) and United States of America (US). Looking particularly at the automobile sector, it argues that TTIP negotiators should strive for the mutual recognition of equivalence of EU and US car emissions standards, while pursuing full harmonisation in the long term. It concludes that the preferential trade agreement (PTA) status of TTIP would not be able to exempt measures taken for regulatory convergence from compliance with applicable WTO rules, particularly the rules of the WTO’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). Furthermore, the EU and the US would not be able to ignore requests for the recognition of equivalence of third countries’ standards and would need to provide the grounds upon which they assess third countries’ standards as not adequately fulfilling the objectives of their own regulations and therefore rejecting them.