Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University SPEA dean to tell European Parliament about barriers to free trade

  • Oct. 10, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Companies on both sides of the Atlantic face a growing tangle of regulations that act as barriers to free trade, according to testimony to be delivered to the European Parliament by John D. Graham.

Graham is dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and is scheduled to testify Monday, Oct. 14, at a hearing by the Parliament’s Trade Committee in Brussels, Belgium. The European Union and the U.S. are working on an ambitious deal to smooth trade between the two zones.

Making sense out of a regulatory mess is an important step in that negotiation, Graham said in written testimony prepared for the hearing.

“Each year the number of conflicting or inconsistent regulations grows, due to the lack of adequate regulatory cooperation,” Graham will testify. “My experience is that the automotive, agricultural and chemicals sectors are disproportionately impacted.”

Here are other major points Graham will make:

  • The U.S. and EU don’t sufficiently coordinate or enforce health, safety and environmental regulations.
  • Neither government is reliably better at designing and justifying regulations.   
  • Even after conflicts and inconsistencies are discovered, U.S. and EU regulators move too slowly to repair the barriers to trade.
  • The World Trade Organization is ineffective at resolving disputes and its remedies are weak. Lawsuits in the WTO should be considered a last resort.
  • A new transatlantic process is needed for producing new regulations, and a yearly effort should be undertaken to re-design existing and burdensome regulations. The European Parliament and Congress should also hold yearly hearings and develop scorecards on the progress in regulatory cooperation.  

Graham’s expertise was sought by the Parliament because of his mix of high-level experience inside and outside government. From 2001 to 2006, Graham served in the George W. Bush administration as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. One of his major initiatives was the first high-level regulatory cooperation effort between the U.S. and EU. Before that, he studied the development of health safety and environmental regulations in the U.S. and Europe as the founding director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.

Among the other witnesses at the Parliament hearing will be Dan Mullaney, the chief U.S. negotiator for the proposed trade agreement, and Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Mullaney’s counterpart for the EU; as well as leaders of European trade union and consumer organizations.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs:

SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Research Council as among the top 2 in the nation. 

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Media Contacts

Jim Hanchett

  • School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Office 812-856-5490
  • jimhanch@indiana.edu