Regulatory 'reliance' in global trade governance

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Abstract / Description of output

One of the most significant recent trends in global trade governance has been the increasing use of regulatory ‘reliance’ arrangements as a significant element of trade alliances. Against this backdrop, an important set of questions are raised about how existing institutions of global trade governance – especially the World Trade Organization, and international regulatory standards organisations – should respond. To what extent, and how, should such institutions facilitate reliance arrangements, and what role can they usefully play in overseeing and guiding their use? This paper begins to answer that question through a focussed case study of regulatory reliance in the agrifood sector. Four challenges are identified regarding the implementation of such arrangements: the high costs of establishment and maintenance; the lack of agreed and reliable assessment methodologies; the potential for arbitrary discrimination between trade partners; and the difficulties of dealing with regulatory change over time. In light of these challenges, the paper surveys assesses the work of existing international organisations in governing reliance arrangements in the agrifood sector. The paper concludes with a number of preliminary suggestions as to how this architecture of global governance might be supplemented or harnessed to address some of the challenges posed by reliance arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalEuropean Journal of Risk Regulation
Early online date28 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2023

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