Tuesday, July 24, 2007

U.S. Chamber Launches Global Regulatory Cooperation Project

Jul 17: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the Global Regulatory Cooperation Project (GRC) to combat what they say is the growing problem of in-country barriers (ICBs), or protectionist and divergent regulations that distort markets and undermine U.S. competitiveness. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said, "The growing interdependence of the world's economies requires a systematic approach to reducing adverse impacts on trade. The U.S. and its major trading partners must work to open markets and improve the flow of trade and investment through a vigorous agenda of enhanced regulatory reform and cooperation. The stakes are simply too high not to undertake this effort and succeed."

The Chamber said, a concerted effort over the last 50 years to eliminate tariffs and quotas around the world has helped generate prosperity. Despite this progress, "market-distorting regulations remain. Protectionist and divergent regulations have consequences every bit as costly as high tariffs." To reach its goal, the Chamber said it will pursue many avenues. These include advocating for the creation of a new White House coordinating office, prioritizing and monetizing the impact of ICBs, educating policymakers about the impact of regulations in global markets, creating new regulatory agreements, and strengthening existing trade agreements to successfully secure open and competitive markets. Donohue said, "Through this new initiative, the Chamber will bring together the business community, the U.S. government, and governments worldwide to urge that specific steps be taken to eliminate in-country barriers to trade. The goal is to ensure market access and a competitive marketplace for businesses and consumers."

Additional information on the GRC indicates, "This threat is urgent and growing. Increasingly burdensome and interventionist policies in the areas of intellectual property (IP) law, standards, (e.g. technology, environment, health, and safety), state owned enterprises, subsidies, competition policy, and investment regulations are hindering the operation of efficient markets and preventing some of the most successful and innovative companies from commercializing their technologies in foreign markets. Not only will companies be disadvantaged, but consumers are likely to face fewer choices and higher prices."

As part of the GRC launch, the Chamber and BUSINESSEUROPE, the largest European business organization, also announced a new strategic partnership to monitor the progress of the recently created U.S. and EU Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC). The council was established to address regulatory barriers between the transatlantic markets.

Access a release from the U.S. Chamber (
click here). Access more detailed information on the GRC including a webcast of the launch event and a powerpoint presentation (click here). Access a release on the BUSINESSEUROPE partnership and link to additional information (click here). [*All]