We advocate in favor of transparent, objective, scientifically and economically benchmarked and justified, market-driven, relevant standards and regulations, and strong recognition, protection and enforcement of exclusive private property assets and rights. Such measures play an indispensable role in facilitating the international trade and investment flows, technological innovations, economic growth, social justice and environmental protection necessary to achieve a positive paradigm of sustainable development.
We question the sustainability of trade and development assistance programs extended to developing countries that call for adoption and implementation of costly and administratively burdensome hazard-based environment, health and safety standards and regulations, and/or for the recognition, use and enforcement of private property assets and rights conditioned upon ‘public interest’ concerns (e.g., universal access to healthcare, knowledge, etc.). Such measures have the effect of stifling local research and development efforts, technology transfer and dissemination, and entrepreneurship in such countries, as well as, critical foreign direct investment.
We find and explain that when standards and regulations are not scientifically, technically and/or economically justified and are not developed in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, and when exclusive private property assets and rights are continually being legislatively or judicially redefined by reference to popular social policies, there is a real and present danger that standards and regulations may be utilized without accountability for ideological and/or political purposes, as self-serving disguised non-tariff protectionist barriers to trade, investment and innovation, and as instruments of social change designed to circumvent the rule of law and to deny individuals their constitutional rights and liberties, including their substantive and procedural right to due process of law.