Business lobby groups have long complained of different consumer protection and health measures creating unreasonable “barriers” to trade and investment. They have now identified international co-operation, with industry input at the earliest stages of regulatory development, as the next great leap forward to shape globalization according to their interests. This report hopes to demonstrate how North American regulatory co-operation, most recently through the Regulatory Co-operation Council (RCC), served as an external justification for a move toward widespread business-friendly regulation in Canada over the past quarter-century. Despite its largely voluntary nature, co-operation has acted as a barrier to better consumer protections and public interest regulations in Canada. The report suggests the RCC offers evidence of how business groups hope to use the regulatory co-operation chapter and provisions in the soon-to-be-ratified Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to try and undermine Europe’s more precautionary approach to regulating for public safety and consumer preferences.
This report is co-published by the CCPA, Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, LobbyControl (Germany) and the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).