open access

Abstract

TTIP aims at conducting a trade policy which reduces regulatory barriers. This would enable certain goods and services to move freely or more easily from the EU to the US and the other way around, resulting in gains from cost savings and efficiencies. However, this can potentially have implications in the way risk regulation is implemented in the EU, and it has therefore raised an important debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, the United States and the European Union do not seem to share the same values in terms of risk assessment and risk management. The EU can be described as more risk averse and has developed stricter standards to address consumer health and safety or environmental issues.This paper examines whether an EU-US trade partnership is capable of reducing regulatory barriers while safeguarding the approach towards risk regulation developed in the EU for the last two decades. To address this topic, the paper focuses on the cosmetics sector which is of great importance in Europe since it employs large numbers of people and contributes heavily to the economy. Besides, the large regulation of the market and the high rates of trade between the EU and the US in the sector will most probably enhance the applicability of TTIP. Therefore, it is interesting to study how the negotiations on the trade agreement might impact the regulation of cosmetic products in Europe.As an international standard hegemon in the cosmetics sector, the EU has incentivised voluntary rules in the US similar to the European ones. This will support the idea that the TTIP negotiations are not likely to modify substantially the regulatory standards set by the EU on cosmetic products because these standards are already met by an increasing number of manufacturers.