NYU Symposium on New Approaches to International Regulatory Cooperation
Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM (EST)
Chair: Richard B. Stewart (NYU Law School)
Speaker: C. Boyden Gray (Boyden Gray & Associates) - "The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership"
Panelists: Ignacio Garcia Bercero (European Commission); Michael Fitzpatrick (General Electric); Peter Skinner (European Parliament); Jeffrey Weiss (U.S. Department of Commerce)
Over the past few decades, the accelerating pace of globalization and inter-connectedness of national regulatory regimes have sparked growing scholarly as well as intense practical interest by governments, business, and NGOs in international regulatory cooperation. The need for effective regulatory cooperation has been underscored by recent cross-border regulatory failures, including in financial regulation and food & drug safety. President Obama has called for international regulatory cooperation in issuing Executive Order 13609, and in initiating negotiations on a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, designated the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership. As those and parallel negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership now proceed, it appears international regulatory cooperation and its potential economic benefits will likely be at the center of the next generation of free trade agreements.
At the same time, national regulators are increasingly engaged in the practice of cross-border regulatory cooperation. For example, the US Food & Drug Administration recently completed a pilot program to share and divide authority with EU and Australian regulatory counterparts for inspecting pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in other countries. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has just finalized a rule revising hazard classifications and labels to comply with the UN’s Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication.
Notwithstanding these initiatives, international regulatory cooperation remains understudied and under-theorized. There are fundamental legal and policy questions that remain unresolved – for example, the legal basis for agencies to cooperate with foreign regulators, or the risk that efforts to improve regulatory compatibility may precipitate a “race to the bottom” of progressively weakened labor, environmental, and consumer protections. These questions increasingly call out for scholarly examination that will inform public discussion and debate.
Organized under the auspices of NYU Law School’s Institute for International Law & Justice, and its Global Administrative Law Project, this symposium gathers leading practitioners, government officials, and scholars from different fields and regions of the world to address these timely and important questions. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Atlantic Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. The keynote address and papers will be published in Law & Contemporary Problems.