Today we are pleased to announce an important step forward for a joint effort launched by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper to cut unnecessary red tape for companies small and large that want to do business cross our shared border. On December 7, 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper announced the launch of theUnited States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan. We are pleased to announce that, as of this week, all of the work plans to implement the sectoral initiatives in the Action Plan have been finalized. They are available for viewing at www.trade.gov/rcc.
The work plans set out a full range of activities to be undertaken by U.S. and Canadian regulators to achieve more effective and coordinated approaches to regulation. These approaches are aimed at reducing unnecessary regulatory differences and enhancing our joint economic competitiveness while continuing to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the American people.
What does this mean in practice? We expect that by reducing unjustified disparities and needless red tape, these initiatives will have a positive impact on economic growth, given that over $835 billion dollars in goods, services, and investment flowed between our two countries in 2011. Easing these trade flows, while continuing to protect public health, safety, and our environment, will benefit Canadians and Americans alike.
To hold ourselves accountable for producing results, the work plans have two-year timeframes and include clear milestones and timelines, mechanisms to promote ongoing regulatory alignment, and regular opportunities for public participation and stakeholder engagement.
We believe that increasing regulatory cooperation and cutting red tape that hampers U.S. businesses will promote trade and lower costs for consumers by ensuring that cross-border transactions are simpler, more efficient, and more predictable. If you have ideas about how to improve our implementation of the Action Plan or would like to propose new areas of cooperation, we ask that you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.