One Regulatory Size Doesn’t Fit All in Emerging Markets

FTI Consulting

[co-author: Andres Garcia Pelaez]

How multinationals can stay ahead of the spread of cross-border “copy-and-paste policies” that threaten growth and development.

During the past few decades, globalization has benefitted both multinational businesses and developing countries by opening up distant and diverse markets. Governments and companies based in developed countries have effectively engaged with those in developing countries to pursue policy standardizations that provided local businesses with certainty when operating in promising, yet unreliable, emerging markets. For a while, new free trade agreements and multilateral agencies successfully standardized regulations across Latin America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

But in recent years a different kind of regulatory standardization has arisen — one that threatens businesses operating in emerging markets, causing multinationals to struggle to catch up and adapt.

This new standardization can be called cross-border “copy-and-paste policies” (“CPPs”). CPPs are usually hastily created regulations that transplant policies drafted to address the political, market and contextual realities of one country into another. Though they seem like another form of policy standardization, CPPs are a growing threat to businesses across the world as they fail to enhance business growth and development the way their predecessors intended them to do.

Catalyst for CPPS: Networks Growing Stronger

Our complicated and volatile world is fertile ground for the rise of CPPs. When viewed through the lens of Latin America, five combustible elements are present that have kindled the trend:

1. A global news media that seamlessly spreads information about policy developments between countries and often compares policies in developed markets with those in emerging ones.

2. An interconnected network of issue advocates that leverage the global news environment to amplify developments and exercise pressure on local governments. Comprised mostly of civil society groups such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), this stakeholder group has distanced itself from businesses and developed an intricate network of partnerships and alliances with similar groups and governments around the globe.

3. Increased regulatory connectivity that allows bureaucrats in different geographical regions to dialogue and share their experiences with complex regulatory processes.

4. A higher degree of technological complexity that makes business models increasingly difficult to understand and, therefore, properly regulate. This opens the door for policy makers to follow so-called “proven paths” (i.e., CPPs), particularly amid growing media noise and activist pressure.

5. A rise in political and economic nationalism, across both developed and emerging markets, marked by strong manifestations of civil protest, that pushes regulators and legislators to pursue quick regulatory changes irrespective of likely negative impacts to industry.

Cause: The European Influence

In Latin America, “Made in Europe” is stitched into regulations across the region. Two recent examples of that powerful influence illustrate how CPPs can replicate.

The Plastics Debate

In 2019, the European Union (“EU”) approved a ban over certain single-use plastics.1 The policy comes into full force in 2021, providing plastic manufacturers and related businesses about two years to adapt.

The proposal received significant global media coverage, and within months of its enactment, countries in Latin America — like Costa Rica, Chile and Colombia — pursued a similar path.2 To further complicate matters, municipalities across Latin America drafted their own bans, which were also largely based on the EU’s draft.3 That significantly fragmented the debate across Latin America. The resources of global companies trying to keep up were thinly spread as a result.

While plastic waste is a critical issue that societies, governments and businesses alike are working to address, the speed with which one specific policy is replicating itself — even in very different places — is catching many businesses flat-footed.

Data Privacy Debuts

In May 2018, the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations, which provide for stronger rules on data protection and give EU citizens more control over their personal data.4 A key aspect of GDPR is that its standards apply regardless of where the data is collected — every country outside the EU must comply when handling EU citizen information.

It did not take long for countries in other regions to follow the EU and copy-paste the policy into their own regulatory frameworks. In Brazil, Latin America’s largest market, for example, a version of GDPR is slated to enter full force by early 2020.

GDPR-like regulations are also taking the rest of Latin America by storm. Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru (to a lesser degree) are all bringing their regulatory frameworks closer to that of the EU.5 But even though these countries are hastily pursuing GDPR-like legislation, implementation of the new policy is still pending following enactment.

Such is the case in Brazil, where Congress and then-President Michel Temer went back and forth on veto and override until a GDPR-like law was passed.6 The related policies that would allow for its execution have yet to be finalized, including funding and structure of the newly established regulatory agency, increasing uncertainty for many businesses.7

Cause: The Emerging Economies Influence

In recent years, increased communication between stakeholders in emerging economies has contributed to a different kind of cross-border CPP. An example is the case of compulsory licenses on innovative pharmaceutical patents, and the migration of this policy from Southeast Asia to Latin America.

Intellectual Property

In 2017, the government of Malaysia issued a unilateral compulsory license on an innovative treatment for hepatitis C.8 While industry rightfully protested that intellectual property infringements were behind this move, the international NGO community soon supported the initiative and encouraged other governments to follow.9

Shortly after, the compulsory license trend appeared in Latin America. The government of Colombia, for one, pushed a similar policy in 2018. Congresses of Chile and El Salvador pursued legislative changes that aimed to facilitate the issuance of compulsory licenses. In Brazil, presidential candidates called for similar actions.10 11 12 The language in all these policies and initiatives was significantly similar to that of the Malaysian law and indicative of a bigger pattern.

Stakeholders supporting these measures across Latin America were also significantly connected to each other in media coverage of their advocacy efforts. In 2018, for example, Colombian media showcased an interview with a Chilean advocate who favored Colombia’s compulsory licensing move and used Malaysia’s 2017 case as a basis for his support.13

A New Environment Demands a New Approach

These cases speak to the new Latin America in which multinational companies operate. Previously, many regulatory affairs were dealt with in private spaces within the halls of government buildings. This is no longer the case.

The following principles should guide multinationals as they prepare to address existing cross-boarder CPPs, and ideally prevent new ones from emerging.

  • Have a constructive opinion and communicate it. As businesses are affected by an increasing number of regulations, business interests and positions must go beyond asking for maintaining the status quo. Governments and societies facing the challenge of regulating complex technologies expect stakeholders to approach these debates with solutions. In the absence of concrete solutions offered by businesses, CPPs become the next best approach for regulators.
  • Leverage the media in industry-related policy debates. Regulations no longer get hashed out at a bipolar negotiation table where governments offer an approach and businesses get to comment on it. In this world of the past, businesses would avoid engaging the media in an effort to keep policy talks private, but public affairs have become more public. Conceding the media space to opposing interests means the concession of a significant portion of the regulatory arena and can cause negative impacts on business.
  • Know when to zoom in to national battles, and when to zoom out. Businesses must be agile and know when to isolate CPP-related narratives from international debates and when to address them as a purely global phenomenon. These two tactics have advantages and disadvantages. Keeping debates within a national context is often well received by in-country stakeholders and, if appropriate, allows businesses to lobby governments to create country-specific regulations instead of copying foreign ones.

But the international nature of CPP debates can also be useful to leverage. For instance, leveraging cross-border wins in one geography against another can advance regional debates. This approach has proven successful in balancing out CPPs through positive domino effects that take businesses’ considerations into account. We refer to this as a boomerang effect.

The first wave of policy standardization that followed globalization — in the form of free-trade frameworks and multilateral agencies — proved beneficial to businesses. CPPs, however, are an unhelpful kind of “standardization” because they transplant policy designed for one country’s specific context into another without adjustment, and often too quickly. By following some basic guidelines, however, multinational companies can keep up with the trend of CPPs.



Written by:

FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.