International Regulatory Cooperation Maximizes Benefits for All

“Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.”  – Executive Order 13563, January 18, 2011 (emphasis added).

EO 15653 put into words what many regulators and businesses had long known: regulatory decisions do not occur in a vacuum – all relevant evidence must be considered to maximize benefits through the most innovative and least burdensome approach.  Both domestic and international factors must be considered, and U.S. regulatory agencies often need to work with their foreign counterparts in order to effectively meet their statutory mandates when promulgating regulations and conducting enforcement.  The Administrative Conference of the United States (the Conference) recognized the need for increased and improved international regulatory cooperation and adopted Recommendation 2011-6: International Regulatory Cooperation (the Recommendation).

The Recommendation recognizes that international regulatory cooperation can take many forms.  Success can follow many different paths, and it pays for agencies to think outside of the box; items #3 and #4 of the Recommendation provide a few suggested ideas on methods of regulatory cooperation.  However, those lists are by no means intended to be exhaustive, and the U.S. Chamber and the Conference invite you to join us as we co-host an Implementation Summit on Tuesday May 1, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm at the U.S. Chamber, to explore the best methods for putting the Recommendation into practice.

Many regulators are already leveraging international regulatory cooperation to maximize benefits.  For example, the United States Department of Agriculture actively seeks to reach equivalence agreements for organic certifications, having reached agreements with Canada in 2009 and the EU in February 2012.  The equivalence agreements alleviate confusion for consumers and save resources for regulators, while maximizing growth by creating an environment of predictability and increased access for U.S. business.

EO 13579 states “[i]ndependent regulatory agencies, no less than executive agencies, should promote” the principles of EO 13563.  Even in independent agencies whose primary mission is safety or consumer protection, international regulatory cooperation efforts can also serve to promote growth and job creation.

The staff at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fosters close informal working relationships with counterparts in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, and Korea, and also has relationships with European counterparts that are especially strong, with multiple phone calls and emails every week.  These relationships help improve the efficiency of the CPSC and create familiarity and confidence in their counterparts, which often results in alignment of regulatory results that avoids and removes non-tariff barriers to trade.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has conducted technical assistance with India and China in connection with the design and implementation of competition laws and policies and also helped Eastern European countries write their competition laws and establish competition agencies.  These efforts often lead to regimes that are familiar to U.S. business and can work to lower transactions costs.

The United States also participates in several bilateral formalized international regulatory cooperation arrangements that exemplify the spirit of the Recommendation and are aimed to reduce administrative burdens, align regulations, and create new opportunities for business.  The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council encompasses 29 sectors, each with a specific workplan and concrete objectives for a two-year timeframe.  The U.S. – Mexico High Level Regulatory Cooperation Council (HLRCC) focuses on six areas: food, transportation, nanotechnology, e-health, oil and gas, and conformity assessment.[1]

Please join us at the U.S. Chamber (1615 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20062) on Tuesday May 1, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm as the Chamber and the Conference co-host the Implementation Summit, which will be an excellent opportunity for public and private sector participants to provide feedback on implementation of the Recommendation and to continue to foster a long-term public-private partnership that continues to increase and improve international regulatory cooperation.  Please RSVP to:

Adam C. Schlosser
Senior Manager, Center for Regulatory Cooperation
U.S. Chamber of Commerce; 202.463.5580

For more information about the Implementation summit please visit

Post by: Adam Schlosser, U.S. Chamber of Commerce