As markets become more integrated, divergences in regulations among countries can create hurdles and increase the costs to trade. In this context, International Regulatory Co-operation (IRC) that ensures a balance between trade facilitation and regulatory objectives of countries has become an important area of discussion in trade policy.
OECD work in this area involves joint analytical work between the Regulatory Policy Committee and the Trade Committee on identifying the trade costs of regulatory divergences, and on the various approaches and instruments of regulatory co-operation to alleviate these costs and achieve the regulatory objectives of countries.
In the context of the OECD work on international regulatory co-operation and trade policy, the OECD has hosted in February 2014 a first workshop. In November 2015, the Regulatory Policy Committee and the Trade Committee held for the first time a joint meeting to discuss experiences and challenges with international regulatory co-operation and trade policy.
In November 2016, the two Committees met again to take stock of progress made on joint work. Discussions covered the work conducted under the auspices of the Regulatory Policy Committee and the Trade Committee on understanding the trade costs of regulatory divergence and the remedies, to be published in the course of 2017. Delegates underlined the importance of reinforcing good regulatory practices in support of IRC, in line with the OECD 2012 Council Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance. In the current context of mounting nationalism, scepticism against international trade and general mistrust in public institutions, it is seen as an important lever to ensure better protection of citizens and consumers, improve transparency and regain the public trust, while avoiding unnecessarily burdensome measures.
EVENTS ON IRC AND TRADE