The U.S. government has consumer-protection regulations that impose strict quality standards on food, drugs, and other consumer goods.

1. The U.S. government has consumer-protection regulations that impose strict quality standards on food, drugs, and other consumer goods. Many countries in the rest of the world do not have such high standards, and WTO members have filed complaints against the United States, disputing the U.S. government’s right to restrict imports that do not meet high standards.

The claim is that these standards discriminate against foreign producers and constitute unfair trade restrictions. The WTO often agrees with these complaints. In 1996, the WTO ruled that an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation calling for cleaner gasoline was discriminatory against foreign producers and violated WTO agreements. The EPA was forced to rewrite the rule to allow for dirtier gasoline.

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Did this revision by the EPA help world trade? Why or why not? Explain.

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