Regulatory Cooperation Council

Washington, D.C.
4 February 2011

Canada and the United States are two of the most integrated economies in the world.  This commercial relationship, which supports millions of jobs on both sides of the border, is essential to the prosperity of both countries. 

The Prime Minister and President have announced the creation of a Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).  This Council commits both countries to finding ways to reduce and prevent regulatory barriers to cross-border trade, because simplifying rules and reducing red tape lead to lower costs for business and consumers, and ultimately to more jobs.

The two leaders believe that the citizens of both countries deserve smarter, more effective approaches to regulation that enhance economic competitiveness, while maintaining high standards of public heath and safety, and protecting the environment.

The establishment of the Regulatory Cooperation Council in no way diminishes the sovereignty of Canada or the U.S., with each government continuing to carry out its regulatory functions according to its domestic legal and policy requirements.

Canada and the US have a strong record of achievement in regulatory cooperation on which to build.  Some of these achievements include:

• In October 2010, Canada announced final regulations, aligned with those in the United States, which imposed more stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for new passenger automobiles and light trucks, thereby making emissions from 2016 model vehicles about 25 per cent lower than those sold in Canada in 2008.
• By September 2011, a harmonized standard for electronic stabilization systems in light-duty vehicles will be in place, enhancing safety and significantly reducing the risk of collisions.
• In June 2009, Canada and the U.S. recognized as equivalent each other’s national organic systems, thereby facilitating bilateral trade in certified organic products.

In addition to building on past cooperation, the Regulatory Cooperation Council could focus on new sectors, such as nanotechnology, where regulatory policy in both countries is at an early stage.