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Joint Statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper of Canada on Regulatory Cooperation
 

4 February 2011

Today, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have directed the creation of a United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), composed of senior regulatory, trade, and foreign affairs officials from both governments. In recognition of our $1 trillion annual trade and investment relationship, the RCC has a two-year mandate to work together to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to our consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination.

They have directed that the first meeting of the RCC be convened within 90 days by the relevant agencies in the United States and Canada.

The President and the Prime Minister have taken this initiative because they believe that their citizens deserve smarter, more effective approaches to regulation that enhance the economic competitiveness and well-being of the United States and Canada, while maintaining high standards of public health and safety and environmental protection. Improving regulatory cooperation and adopting compatible approaches will lead to greater prosperity on both sides of the border and will in no way diminish the sovereignty of either the United States or Canada or the ability of either country to carry out its regulatory functions according to its domestic and legal policy requirements.

The President and the Prime Minister both recognize the crucial importance of such regulatory cooperation as the U.S. and Canadian economies pull out of the recession and confront the challenges of improving productivity and keeping a competitive edge.

They also believe that regulatory cooperation can spur economic growth in each country; fuel job creation; lower costs for consumers, producers, and governments; and particularly help small and medium-sized businesses. The United States and Canada intend to eliminate unnecessary burdens on cross-border trade, reduce costs, foster cross-border investment, and promote certainty for businesses and the public by coordinating, simplifying and ensuring the compatibility of regulations, where feasible.

The United States and Canada are committed to working through the RCC to provide early notice of regulations with potential effects across our shared border, to strengthen the analytic basis of regulations, and to help make regulations more compatible.

Building on ongoing cooperation, both countries intend to work through the RCC to determine sectors on which to focus its work that are characterized by high levels of integration, significant growth potential, and rapidly evolving technologies.

Both countries are committed to evidence-based, predictable, cost-effective regulatory approaches carefully targeted to enable businesses to continue to innovate and grow.

The President and the Prime Minister believe that the United States and Canada must work together to make their economies stronger and more competitive, while meeting their fundamental responsibilities to protect the safety and welfare of their citizens.