Procedures therefore offer a greater likelihood of removing barriers than the call to the OEE and the new WTO. This increases the importance of rapid progress in regional trade forums. The experience of the US-EU compliance assessment negotiations in the compliance assessment, as presented in this chapter, will bring at least some momentum to progress at the multilateral level. Negotiations within a regional framework, such as early work within APEC, can also be useful in laying the groundwork for mitigating the development of new barriers to compliance assessment in the future. Trade and the expansion of world exports are directly related to the economic vitality of the United States and the future standard of living. Exports provide domestic economic growth, labour productivity and job creation in manufacturing and services, which pay wages well above the national average.1 Future economic success in the United States, as a result of these factors, is increasingly focused on removing barriers to international trade and creating innovative export promotion programs to expand U.S. markets for goods and services abroad. Selling the Free Trade Agreement (FTT) to partner countries can help your company position itself and compete more easily in the global marketplace by removing barriers to trade. U.S.
free trade agreements deal with a wide range of foreign government activities that affect your business: reducing tariffs, strengthening intellectual property protection, increasing the contribution of U.S. exporters to the development of FTA partner countries, fair treatment of U.S. investors, and improving opportunities for foreign government procurement and U.S. service companies. The 1994 GATT agreement made significant progress in reducing the potential for the application of standards as non-tariff barriers. However, there are still areas of uncertainty in the agreement that may limit its usefulness. For example, the ability of the new TBT agreement to influence the evolution of environmental standards is unclear. At both national and international levels, there is strong interest in the development of new standards and certification systems linking industrial production, trade and the environment.32 It is questionable whether the WTO and the TBT agreement provide an appropriate framework for promoting the creation of the least trade-distorting environmental standards. This is an area that the U.S. government and the private sector should absolutely be watching carefully. An overview of efforts to develop environmental management standards internationally can be found at: Marilyn R. Block, ISO/TC 207: Developing in International Environmental Management Standard.