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Regulatory Competition

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Chapter Summary

In the federal structures of the European Community and the United States, the delicate task of combining and balancing a free interstate movement of goods with other social values, such as environmental protection, may take place in two constitutional ways: under the models of regulatory competition and harmonization. These two constitutional models form the analytical framework, against which the theory and practice of free trade are described. Fundamentally, most free trade regimes from free trade areas to confederations and federal states involve, under regulatory competition, the same guiding rationale regarding the self-determination of their individual states: the law of prohibition, and the law of justifications. The current trade law doctrine recognizes different types of approaches on translating efficiency into the law of prohibition. Basically, three types of approaches to state measures may be found: an obstacle approach, a discrimination approach, and a typological approach.

Keywords: discrimination approach; environmental protection; European community; harmonization; law of justifications; law of prohibition; obstacle approach; regulatory competition; trade law



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