When states face a regulatory difference that impedes commerce between them, they have a range of options to choose from in how to pursue regulatory cooperation on that issue. They may attempt to unilaterally impose their position, attempt to negotiate binding agreements, promote mutual recognition, utilize networked governance, create private standards, rely on business self-regulation, or choose not to pursue cooperation. Each of these choices has implications for the commerce and international relations on that issue, and so the choice of policy route is of vital importance. This article builds on lobbying, regulation, and trade scholarship to advance a theory that explains how states choose a regulatory cooperation pathway.
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