Harper Government and Obama Administration Invite Public Views on Next Phase of Regulatory Cooperation

August 30, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Canada and the United States are seeking the public’s views on potential next steps for regulatory cooperation. Comments from stakeholders will be used to inform the future direction of regulatory cooperation between the two countries.

“Our governments are working together to increase trade and prosperity on both sides of our shared border by ensuring we move goods, services and people in a more effective manner,” said Minister Fast. “Finding new ways to align our regulatory systems will lead to more jobs, growth and prosperity in both countries.”

Since the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) was created in February 2011, Canada and the United States have made significant progress toward reducing barriers to trade and moving goods across our shared border with fewer delays and less paperwork. The goal of the RCC is to better align Canadian and U.S. regulatory systems to benefit producers, manufacturers and consumers. Lack of alignment between regulations creates duplication of effort for manufacturers, which results in higher costs and delays in moving goods across the border.

Progress has been made on 29 initiatives, including:

  • an agreement between Transport Canada and the U.S. Department of Transportation to harmonize certain vehicle safety standards;
  • an agreement between Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to collaborate on implementing common workplace chemical classifications; and
  • an agreement between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to draft a cooperative framework aimed at protecting Canada and the United States from plant pests and invasive species.  

“Given the integrated nature of our economies, greater regulatory cooperation will create more efficient supply chains, increase trade and investment, and generate new export opportunities,” said Minister Fast. “We now have an excellent opportunity for businesses, consumers and other stakeholders to provide ideas for the next phase of alignment. We are seeking views on how to expand and reinforce regulatory cooperation, on possible regulatory initiatives to be included in future work, as well as suggestions on how best to engage stakeholders as work progresses.”

Canadians are invited to share their views between August 31 and October 11, 2013, via the Canada Gazette website or by sending their comments via email to rcc-ccr@pco-bcp.gc.ca. The U.S. government has posted its notice on the Federal Register website.

Canada-U.S. trade totalled $742.5 billion in 2012, with more than $2 billion worth of goods and services crossing the border daily—or over $1.4 million every minute.

For more information on the RCC, please visit Canada’s Economic Action Plan: Regulatory Cooperation Council.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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