To compete or to cooperate? This is an Impact Assessment question

author(s): 
Jacopo Torriti
author(s): 
Ragnar Lofstedt
2009

There is a fine line between regulatory competition and cooperation across the Atlantic. Whilst U.S. and European Union (EU) increasingly collaborate on a range of specific regulatory areas in an effort to remove tariff barriers and thus facilitate trade flows of about 620 billion Euros per year, they also compete in order to improve their internal markets, attract a higher number of investors, increase safety for their citizens and maintaining acceptable environmental standards (Vogel, 2001). When measuring the temperature of regulatory competition and cooperation between U.S. and the EU, a valid reading key is Impact Assessment (IA) (Leafstedt, et al, 2008). IAs are the main evidence-based policy-making instrument in place in both U.S. and EU and can help understand the rationales and justifications for policy and regulatory interventions.

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