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Comparing U.S. Environmental Risk Regulations with Chinese
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Comparing U.S. Environmental Risk Regulations with Chinese

Jianhua Xu

Research comparing China’s risk regulation to the United States reveals only selective variations and not stark contrasts.

The economy and the environment can be affected by stringent environmental risk regulations. There may be differences in regulatory stringency between countries. This could lead to differences in domestic health, environment, and economic outcomes. It may also lead to international trade disputes, shift the flow foreign direct investment, foster pollution havens, or allow for leakage to less stringent countries.

It has been a long-held belief that certain countries have more stringent regulations regarding environmental risks than others. This could be Europe versus the United States, or industrialized versus developing countries. These conventional generalizations about national regulatory comparisons may be too simplistic. Recent decades have seen extensive empirical research. ShownThat’s the reality It isMore complex

For example, research has shown that there is a difference in the patterns of risk regulation between the United States and Europe. revealedThere is an overall average parity in risk regulation stringency on both sides of Atlantic. Divergences reflect greater European stringency on certain risks and greater U.S. stringency elsewhere. This research also has ShownPolicy variation between different risks within the EU as well as within the United States can occur.

Our latest research compared the risk regulation in China with the United States. We also discovered a more complex pattern than the traditional view that the U.S. regulation is more stringent than the Chinese. Huanhong, a doctoral student at Peking University. ComparableThe regulatory stringency in the written rules for a random sampling of 45 environmental risk between the United States (USA) and China as at January 2017 We ScoredThe relative strictness of regulation for each risk FoundThe difference in environmental risk regulation in the United States is not as severe as the common perception would suggest. On a scale of 0 to indicate equivalent stringency between the countries, and 0 to indicate greater stringency in America, we calculated an overall score for the 45 environmental risk factors in our sample of just 0.06.

We also FoundChina and the United States were not the most stringent in regulating relative regulation. Each country, however, is responsible for its own regulatory stringency. RegulatedSome risks are more serious than others. The United States had the highest number (45) of environmental risks. stringentChina had 13 risks and the United States had 27 risks. China had 13 risks and the United States and China were equal in their regulatory stringency for five of their risks.

We also examinedThe risks that could have international trade implications according to World Trade Organization rules. We found that 41 of the 45 environmental risks in our sample have international trade implications. The United States regulated them 25 more closely than China, and China regulated them 12 more.

We found that 45 of the 45 regulations in our sample were sector-based. RegulatedChina regulated the risks of the transportation and agricultural sectors more rigorously than the United States.

Moreover, even if one country is involved RegulatingOne country may regulate one aspect of a risk more rigorously than the other, but it could still be more stringent in regulating that risk. The U.S. has more stringent standards for ambient air quality than Chinas. HasThere are less stringent standards to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions in the interest of protecting the public welfare. The pattern of complex particularity is seen across all regulations in our sample, as well as within their individual elements. 22 of 45 randomly selected environmental risks we reviewed had conflicting evidence that there was internal variation in policy strictness.

Our findings CastThere is no doubt that the traditional view of unified national styles and general national stances on environmental risk regulation is not correct. Our detailed studies revealed the reality Appearanceto be a complex pattern that selectively regulates certain risks in each country. It is important to consider the potential variations in the results of these policies, such their effects on investment, health and environment, as well as their impact on trade, trade, and commerce. studiedYou must examine specific evidence about particular risks and policies and not rely on broad-brush national styles or regulations.

Assessments of how environmental risk regulations affect policy outcomes are based on overall national composite scores. They measure the stringency and severity of environmental risks regulations. mightThere may be subtle differences in the regulatory requirements of particular countries and policies that could obscure nuanced differences. They may lead to misleading results.

Complex patterns we have ObserveIn particular, risk regulations within and between countries can be triggered by multiple factors, including risk perceptions and crises, economic competition, trade protectionism, interest group politics and institutional differences, as well as transnational policy learning, emulation and other factors.

These factors can also differ between countries, institutions and risk levels, as well as time periods. Their significance is therefore not known. InfluenceThere may be variations in the process of forming risk regulations. These factors may vary across countries, and their combined influence on policymaking could be complex. InhibitPrevent or limit the development of broad national stances regarding the stringency and regulation of risk.

Our study of US and Chinese regulations on environmental risk has revealed that there are no comparable studies. Have limitations. We ComparableThe regulations were in effect on January 2017. Further research could be done to verify changes over a longer period of time. We ScoredThe law in force is the set of rules in place in each country regarding each risk. However, this does not take into account how they are implemented, monitored and enforced. Even though we have a comprehensive list of all the countries that we are aware of, AssessedThe regulation of 45 environment risks could be extended to include risks in other domains like food, cyber, and homeland security.

However, even though we have only reviewed a small number of written environmental risks regulations at one time, we still believe that they are important. FoundIt is better to have selective variations across specific risks than stark contrasts between national stances.

Jianhua Xu

Jianhua XuAssociate Professor in the Department of Environmental Management at Chinas Peking University

Jonathan B. Wiener

Jonathan B. WienerDuke Law School is home to the William R. Perkins and Thomas L. Perkins professors of law.

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