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Good Regulatory Practices and Trilateral North American Cooperation Discussed at Standards Alliance Conference in Mexico


12/22/2014

On December 10-11, 2014, the Standards Alliance, a public-private partnership between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), co-hosted a conference in Mexico City in conjunction with Mexico’s Secretariat of Economy (SE) and Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (COFEMER) and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). Over 150 attendees representing all three countries participated in the two-day North American Conference on Good Regulatory Practices and Regulatory Cooperation.

Opening remarks on day one were provided by Rocio Ruiz Chavez, undersecretary for competitiveness and regulation of the Ministry of Economy; Sean Jones, mission director, USAID Mexico; and Francois Rivest, minister-counsellor, Embassy of Canada to Mexico. All three speakers stressed the importance of the North American economy and the benefit to all three countries of reduced non-tariff barriers to trade and enhanced efficiencies between regulators.

Following the introductory remarks, experts provided presentations and keynote speeches on a variety of topics related to good regulatory practices and regulatory cooperation, including:

  • Scientific- and evidence-based rulemaking
  • Regulatory impact assessment
  • Public consultation and advancements in e-rulemaking
  • Use of good regulatory practices in the elaboration of technical regulations and standards
  • Case studies/best examples of effective regulatory cooperation in other countries, regions, or fora

During keynote remarks on day two, Michael Fitzpatrick, senior counsel and head of regulatory advocacy at General Electric Co., spoke about the opportunities for regulatory cooperation and alignment in the energy sector among North American economies. He noted, “The time is right now for the United States and Mexico to look at existing regulatory cooperation efforts and ask, 'How can we do better or how can we do more?'"

Most sessions featured perspectives from each country, including presentations from high-level officials from Canada and Mexico. The U.S. government and private sector were well-represented, with speakers and moderators from agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and from ANSI members NSF International, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and A2LA.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne also provided keynote remarks, speaking about the role that regulatory cooperation plays in the growth of North American economies. “Our three governments consider regulatory cooperation as a priority and an area where we believe we can make meaningful progress,” said Ambassador Wayne. “In fact, Mexico and Canada are the only two countries with whom the United States has formal Regulatory Cooperation Councils – the U.S.-Mexico High Level Regulatory Cooperation Council (HLRCC) and the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). And because of its importance to our trade relationship, regulatory cooperation has been identified as a priority in two additional important fora – both the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue and the trilateral North American Leaders’ Summit.”

Speaking at the end of the conference, Joseph Tretler, Jr., ANSI vice president for international policy, summed up the discussions by stating, “It is clear that the United States, Canada, and Mexico are global leaders in the area of good regulatory practices and have the opportunity to strengthen our trilateral cooperation in existing fora to the benefit of industry and citizens throughout North America.”

Workshop materials are available online, including the agenda, presentations, and photos.

Mexico is a key partner in the Standards Alliance, which focuses on implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. In addition to this conference, future activities will be conducted according to the work plan available on the Standards Alliance website. For more information or questions, please contact standardsalliance@ansi.org.

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