RULE-SET DUELS AND DUAL RULE SETS MAKE FOR CORE CONFLICT
The Belmont Club
has a two part essay " The World Standard" on the quiet but important battle over Rule-Sets going on between the EU and the United States that is occurring, in Wretchard's words " mostly under the radar". ( Part I
. and Part II
.) As always, Wretchard is thoughtful and provocative
The attempt by the EU to use novel and arbitrary standards to establish non-tariff barriers violates the WTO agreement and they will, when these barriers become pervasive enough, face potential WTO sanctions. There are three possible outcomes at such a juncture:
The EU Rule-Set may get- properly in my view- trumped by the Meta-Rule-Set for Globalization epitomized by the WTO and the EU will back down under threat of sanction the way the Bush administration did over steel tariffs
. A happy ending that reaffirms Connectivity, Core unity and the WTO as an honest broker and guardian of Globalization.
The WTO may uphold some or all of the EU's higher standards, legitimizing the use of non-tariff barriers and setting off a situation not only of Dual Rule-Sets but openly dueling Rule-Sets within the Core. A peaceful but intense diplomatic-legal struggle that will aggravate other tensions within the Atlantic World and demonstrate that the WTO is moving away from it's founding principles to become an agent to " manage" or " slow " Globalization.
The WTO may sanction the EU and the EU defiantly embarks on a trade war, becoming a rival protectionist bloc. Unlikely you say ? I agree but not if the choice meant conforming to a global Rule-Set that will make the generous welfare state - democratic socialism of the EU's member states subject to the kind of market competition that would cause a slashing of domestic budgets. I can't say if the Euros would still fight for king and country but I'm pretty sure the French will go to the wall for their 11 week vacations.
In the meantime Dual Rule -Sets can only coexist for so long before they become Dueling Rule-Sets, sparking division within the Core.
UPDATE: Praktike on QIZ Rule-Sets
( Hat Tip to Glittering Eye