Academic journal article Law and Policy in International Business

Panel II D: Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (Tbt) and Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Sps): Presentation Summary and Comments

Academic journal article Law and Policy in International Business

Panel II D: Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (Tbt) and Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Sps): Presentation Summary and Comments

Article excerpt

John Richardson: Richardson stated that, overall, the SPS has been a good agreement and implementation has been satisfactory. However, the SPS agreement is at the cutting edge of both domestic non-trade laws and international trade rules, and the WTO community needs to arrive at a consensus on these issues in order for it to be successful in the future. Under the GATT, the presumption was that trade superseded other concerns. It is now clear that the WTO must reach a more neutral conclusion regarding the interaction of domestic law and international trade rules in order for the organization to stay viable. To reach this conclusion, a broader range of industries, agencies, and groups must be involved in the decision making process at both the domestic and international level. Finally, Richardson noted that it is not surprising that the complainants in SPS cases usually win using the DSM because panels are dealing with new law.

QUESTION ANY ANSWER SUMMARY: The panel was asked to comment on whether WTO panelists in SPS cases are of the same caliber as U.S. federal judges in addressing scientific issues. Brosch responded that, thus far, the panelists have been impartial and experienced. He added that the selection process is very elaborate.

The panel was then asked to comment on the future of SPS negotiations. Richardson responded by saying that the EU is more resistant and skeptical of bioengineering than the United States. In order to avoid having this difference become a continual source of conflict, governments are trying to arrange consultations between civil society groups and governments in both the EU and the United States. In addition, the EU is in the process of completing its revamping of food safety standards. …

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