Canada-U.S. Progress on Regulatory Cooperation: Joint Action Plan and this Week’s Bi-National Meetings

Luiza Ch. Savage reports on progress Canada and the United States are making on regulatory cooperation.

From yesterday’s Maclean’s:

On Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, some 70 regulators from Canada will sit down with 134 from the U.S. to begin the daunting task of bringing the two regulatory systems into greater sync. They represent about 90 per cent of the regulators responsible for goods that cross the border—from food to automobiles. Another 200 representatives of industry and associations will sit down with the regulators on Wednesday to give input into the kinds of regulatory differences that impose unintentional costs on businesses and consumers.

“We have been blown away by the interest in this,” said Carberry.

The goal is to fundamentally change the relationships between regulators in both countries—to make the alignment of rules and procedures the default, rather than the exception—and to end the “tyranny of small differences” that raise costs.

Until now, progress has been ad hoc and tentative: some veterinary drugs have been approved through joint testing, and the two countries have collaborated on vehicle emissions standards, for example. Carberry says that’s about to change as the regulatory agencies meet and design a work plan for the coming year.

The meetings come after Canada and the United States released the Joint Forward Plan, a report that reviews and lays out the next steps in Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation.

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