Yesterday’s The Canadian Press article on the RCC highlights stakeholder concerns, but omits any reference to the RCC’s successes. BTBObserver offers more background on the concerns the article talks up, and points out where you can learn more about the RCC’s successes. The RCC’s efforts can be enhanced, but before getting too down, ask yourself, ‘How’s the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America doing?’
Last updated: October 25, 4:45 PM EST.
A The Canadian Press article highlights business concerns over progress made by the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) at removing barriers to trade between the world’s largest trading partners.
And it doesn’t hold back: RCC is “suffering from a lack of momentum, disregarding new ideas and ignoring those industries affected the most by border barriers, stakeholders say.”
But the article, written by Lee-Anne Goodman, doesn’t show the whole picture.
Let’s start with it’s two main sources: two letters.
The first letter, penned by 25+ cross-border stakeholders, was sent to the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council. And, yes, it does lay out steps to enhance the RCC’s efforts.
But the article fails to state that the letter was actually solicited by the RCC, as a part of an ongoing effort to enhance RCC stakeholder involvement.
(Note: This Canadian Press “obtained” letter was published on BTBObserver last week.)
The second letter is a widely reported September 2013 letter from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). It really doesn’t focus on the RCC. But, then again, the CCCE CEO’s personal assessment of RCC and the Beyond the Border Action Plan (BTB) was actually harsher than CCCE’s letter to Prime Minister Harper.
But these two detail points aside, here’s the real missing link in the article: The omission of any RCC successes or the history of cross-border regulatory cooperation.
This doesn’t mean the RCC’s efforts can’t be enhanced, or that key stakeholders don’t wish the RCC was accomplishing more.
But it’s hard to say, implicitly or otherwise, that the RCC isn’t accomplishing valuable work.
And American and Canadian officials are actively courting stakeholders for feedback.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind the RCC’s considerable success when compared to the “collapse” of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a 2006-2009 border and regulatory cooperation effort undertaken by Canada, the United States, and Mexico.