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External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR)

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International Regulatory Cooperation

Canada is a mid-sized country that is increasingly dependent on trade, foreign investment and open markets. Canada's economy is dominated by the Canada-US relationship: Approximately US $ 1.3 billion worth of goods and services move between Canada and the United States in 200,000 border crossings every day, with over 80% of Canadian exports going to the United States. The regulatory environment is a key factor in creating a climate conducive to enabling Canadian business activity, attracting investments to Canada, and facilitating North American and global trade. Because an economic space is defined and must be supported by a regulatory space, the quality and effectiveness of Canada's regulatory system have significant implications for our economic competitiveness.

At the same time, the protection of health, safety and the environment is a key objective of regulation. The choice of regulation contributes to the determination of the level of social protection. In particular, Canada must have the capacity to protect citizens in an environment that is driven by increasingly knowledge-driven and integrated regional and global economies, free movement of goods, rapid exchange and marketization of ideas, and a demand for regulatory innovation. In such a fast-changing context, countries are deemed to cooperate more, and Canada will need to participate internationally to stay abreast of rapidly changing knowledge and technological advancement and to translate these developments into effective regulatory solutions in all areas.

Areas for discussion:

The following are three areas of inquiry relating to international regulatory cooperation in which the Committee is interested and with respect to which it welcomes input:

  1. Under what circumstances (eg. with whom, on what, when etc.) can Canada best pursue its national interests (eg. economic, environmental, social) by engaging in bilateral or multilateral regulatory cooperation? How can Canada remove regulatory impediments to the flow of international commerce, ideas and people, while retaining sufficient flexibility in key policy areas?

  2. Under what circumstances and criteria should Canada rely on regulatory thresholds or standards developed by other countries or international-organizations? Under what circumstances are Canadian values and interests best protected through independent, domestic regulatory solutions?

  3. How can Canada improve its regulatory relationship with the United States? What impact will alignment with the US have on Canadian flexibility to work with other trading partners (eg. EU, Japan, China), or international organizations (eg. Codex, WTO, WHO)?


Background Material

The EACSR has commissioned a number of external advisory opinions and papers that will be made available through this web site for public review and comment. All such opinions remain those of the individual authors and do not reflect the position of the Government of Canada.


Last Modified:  9/22/2004

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