Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures that protect human, animal, and plant health are increasingly impeding trade. They harm especially small producers from developing countries that fail to meet the higher standards of potential export markets. They also provoke high-profile disputes like those over EU restrictions on hormone-treated beef, genetically modified plants, and chlorine-treated poultry.
Valentin Zahrnt argues that the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) could play an important role in defusing the trade-disrupting potential of SPS regulation. The most promising avenue is to review the decision-making procedures that lead to SPS measures in greater detail. How transparent and independent are countries’ risk assessments of health hazards? Which provisions have countries taken to account for trade effects when selecting SPS measures? Do countries give foreign interests adequate possibility to voice their concerns over proposed SPS regulation? If reviews encourage countries to improve their decision-making processes, this will contribute to making SPS regulation more effective in protecting health and less trade restrictive.
You are invited to contribute your views to this lunch seminar in a relaxed and informal setting.
A light lunch will be served
Limited space available
RSVP before 25-05-2009 to firstname.lastname@example.org