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    Regional Economic Integration and Consumer Protection

    By Keith R | October 11, 2007

    Topics: Consumer Protection | No Comments »

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    Next week the Research Group on International and Comparative Consumer Law (Groupe de recherche en droit international et comparé de la consommation – Gredicc) of the University of Quebec at Montreal (Université du Québec à Montréal – UQÀM) will be hosting an interesting international conference on "Regional Economic Integration and Consumer Protection in the Americas and in Europe." 

    I wish I could attend in person (especially since I love the beautiful city of Montreal), but unfortunately I have a conflict.  I am, however, trying to get someone presenting or attending to do a guest post on it afterward.  If you can make it to Montreal and would like to attend, contact the conference organizer (and Gredicc Director) Professor Thierry Bourgoignie at bourgoignie[DOT]thierry[AT]uqam[DOT]ca

    [If you do plan to attend, or if you cannot but the topic interests you, you can get a decent (if I do say so myself!) background briefing on the role of these regional integration organizations on the development of consumer law in LAC at this Temas Tools page.] 

    As the title suggests, the conference juxtaposes discussion of the European Union (EU) experience in managing the intersection of trade and consumer laws with the more limited experience in the same field of the regional integration organizations in the Americas, namely MERCOSUR/MERCOSUL, the Andean Community (CAN), the Central American Integration System (SICA), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and last but not least, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    While the EU section holds some personal interest for me (I covered the evolution of EU consumer policy for 14 years during the 1980s and early 1990s), it's really the other part — the consumer/trade law interface in the Americas context — that fascinates me.  That's because this is the first instance I've seen of a full discussion of the issue in the Americas context.  And after all, this is The Temas Blog — we're all about Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) here.

    The relevant conference portions on Thursday, 18 October, are:

    "Legitimacy of regional consumer protection initiatives and achievements to date"

            Specific contributions:   

    The relevant sessions on Friday, 19 October will be:

    "Reconciling National Consumer Protection Measures with Free Trade Rules"

            Specific contributions:

    "Comparative Thoughts about the Status of Consumer Policy Under Regional Agreements in the Americas and in Europe"

    "Prospects for Further Research, Action and Networking"  

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