Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy

Consumer Safety in an Era of Global Trade

Protecting consumers through proactive regulation has never been easy, but now governments face new challenges because of expansive growth in trade and rapid changes in technologies and economic conditions. Each year, more food, drugs, and other goods move across national borders than any single government entity alone can inspect and test. Government officials must try to regulate an expanding set of manufacturers and suppliers abroad, and hard economic times only accentuate the competitive pressures that lead firms to cut corners on safety. Rather than accepting the status quo, Import Safety is motivated by a search for better solutions. If the old ways cannot adequately protect consumers, then new ways deserve policy makers’ and scholars’ serious consideration.

View Table of Contents (pdf)
Read Preface (pdf)| Read Chapter 1 (pdf)
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Penn Press


Cary Coglianese • Adam M. Finkel • David Zaring Read Editor Q&A | Hear Podcast


Alberto Alemanno • Tom Baker • Kenneth Bamberger • Jonathan Baron • Richard Berk
Vicki Bier • Tim Buthe • Cary Coglianese • Jacques deLisle • Tracey Epps • Adam M. Finkel
Andrew Guzman • Errol Meidinger • Kevin Outterson • Michael J. Trebilcock • Lorna Zach
David Zaring Read Author Bios

Import Safety Conference

Photos from the Import Safety Conference

L to R (above): Adam Finkel, Tom Baker with Marsha Echols
L to R (below): Jacques deLisle, David Zaring, Cary Coglianese

On April 30-May 1, 2009, leading scholars and analysts gathered at Penn Law School for a conference dedicated to Import Safety. The book edited by Cary Coglianese, Adam M. Finkel and David Zaring is a direct outgrowth of the panels and discussions that occurred.
Conference Schedule (pdf)

What people are saying about the book Import Safety

"Import Safety is a must-read for anyone trying to understand how governments—and consumers—can negotiate the globalized world."

Donald F. Kettl
Dean of the School of Public Policy,
University of Maryland

"Import Safety provides a timely and comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by both governments and domestic and foreign firms in protecting consumers from unsafe imported goods. It not only describes and documents the magnitude of this challenge but also offers a number of creative legal and administrative solutions to address it."

David Vogel
Solomon P. Lee Chair in Business Ethics,
University of California, Berkeley

"An important book. I am impressed by the way it tackles the food safety problems created by globalization and explains why our current regulatory systems are failing to protect the public. Best, it offers highly innovative ways to solve food safety problems and should be welcomed by policy makers the world over. Anyone who cares about the safety of food and other imports needs to read this book."

Marion Nestle
Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University

Import Safety "provides new ideas that would promote better policy-making and reveals why current regulatory systems are failing to better address this issue...[A]n important book for anyone who would like to understand how governments and the private sector could negotiate and jointly act in the interest of consumers."

European Journal of Risk Regulation

Import Safety "makes an original contribution to research on international trade by detailing the different mechanisms which states use to ensure some degree of overall safety regulation of imports."

Journal of International Economic Law