In general, WTO members agree, under the SPS and OBT agreements, to apply these measures on the basis of scientific knowledge and information only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life and health, and not to arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate WTO members when identical standards apply. Member States are also encouraged to comply with established and recognised international standards. Poor implementation of SPS and OTC measures can create significant barriers to trade if they are disguised protectionist barriers, are not supported by scientific evidence or otherwise unjustified. Bilateral and regional free trade agreements between the United States and other countries regularly address spS and OBT issues. The provisions of most U.S. free trade agreements have generally confirmed the rights and obligations of both parties under the WTO SPS and OBT agreements. Some free trade agreements have established permanent bilateral committees to improve understanding of each other`s actions and to consult them regularly on related issues. Other free trade agreements contain letters of trade or agreements with which the parties can continue to cooperate on scientific and technical issues that, in some cases, may be related to specific market access issues57. Modernising the rules on the application of SPS and OBT measures in trade between the US and the EU by incorporating the “SPS Plus” and “TBT Plus” rules into a trade agreement could be a positive step for US food and agricultural exporters. changes to the SPS and OTC measures agreed in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the U.S.
Trade Phase Agreement. S.-China, 76 According to the USITC, the USMCA “demands for greater transparency and promotes harmonization or equivalence of SPS measures” and takes into account all of the broader disciplines of the TPP “in the areas of equivalence, scientific and risk analysis, transparency and cooperative technical consultations.” 77 Some industry representatives assert that the USMCA “goes beyond the TPP by setting deadlines for “import controls” by requiring importers to notify exporters or importers within five days of the import refusal. 78 Both agreements contain a language directly related to the use of biotechnology.79 Gi protection concerns naming systems that govern product labelling within the EU and in some countries that have a formal trade agreement with the EU. These safeguards generally limit exports from the United States to the EU and other countries where such safeguards have been put in place. USDA, “Tariff Rate Quotas,” www.usda-eu.org/trade-with-the-eu/tariffs/tariff-rate-quotas/. Regulation (EC) 717/2008 establishes a procedure for managing quantitative quotas. The rules for the management of the TRQ for agricultural products under a system of import certificates are set by Regulation (EC) 1301/2006 of the Council. Non-tariff barriers – including spS and OTC measures and the PGI, G.A., were among the agricultural policy issues that were actively debated in the T-TIP negotiations. Previous negotiations have been hampered by long-standing trade disputes between the US and the EU over food security and product standards, often anchored in US and EU legislation and legislation, as well as separate requirements that may apply in individual EU Member States. For example, the EU limits certain types of genetically modified (GE) seeds and also prohibits the use of hormones in meat production and certain treatments to reduce pathogens in poultry production.