Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council Seeks Input on Streamlining Regulations

The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) will hold a forum in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 4-5. The meeting will bring together senior U.S. And Canadian regulatory officials, industry, and other stakeholders, including ACA, to provide progress reports on existing work plans and to discuss new opportunities for regulatory cooperation.

The meeting follows a Request for Information (RFI) published last month by the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) soliciting public input on how the federal government, through the RCC, may reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulatory differences between the United States and Canada. The RFI may inform agencies’ development of regulatory reform proposals to modify or repeal existing agency requirements to increase efficiency related to economic activity with Canada, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance, while continuing to meet agency missions and statutory requirements. OIRA’s RFI also seeks public comment to identify ongoing or emerging areas for which cooperation could reduce the risk of divergence between U.S. and Canadian regulations.

The RCC brings together regulators from both United States and Canadian departments with health, safety, and environmental protection mandates to reduce unnecessary differences between their regulatory frameworks. The RCC’s work is coordinated and monitored by the RCC Secretariat, composed of OIRA and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

ACA has supported RCC efforts to streamline regulations between the two countries, and ACA’s counterpart association, the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA) recently submitted an opportunity for regulatory cooperation focused on the need for greater government alignment on the review and registration of biocides for use in paint and coatings products, which ACA supports.

On June 4, the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), within the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on regulatory cooperation between the United States and Canada. The MOU reaffirms the principles and commitments of the U.S.-Canada RCC, originally established in 2011. Through the elimination of unnecessary regulatory differences, the MOU aims to promotes economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.

This MOU also establishes a foundation for the ongoing work and growth of the RCC, which is a practical and proven bilateral forum for resolving regulatory barriers and improving business investment between Canada and the United States. The council provides a forum for stakeholders, including industry, consumers, and non-government organizations, to discuss regulatory barriers and identify opportunities for regulatory cooperation between the United States and Canada.

Notably, in 2016-17, United States and Canadian agencies published 23 work plans containing over 100 initiatives on regulatory cooperation. These work plans implemented many of the ideas the agencies had included in their joint-partnership statements.

Contact ACA’s Tim Wieroniey for more information.