The Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council and Beyond the Border initiatives are nearing the end of their first year of bilateral meetings and stakeholder outreach.On December 12, Christopher Sands and I will meet at the Wilson Center in Washington to discuss the progress in the first year and to introduce our new paper “A Safe and Smart Border,” published by the Canada Institute. (We will preview the paper at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Economic Leadership Forum in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho on November 16, 2012)
RCC and BTB have shown some encouraging signs of progress but we question the sustainability of the process. From the perspective of the smaller partner, I suggest that Canada can build better cooperation with the U.S. when we demonstrate how North American regulatory cooperation and border management can help serve our shared trade objectives in emerging markets in Asia and beyond. I also suggest that governments on both sides need to build support for the cooperation agenda by helping businesses and travellers to recognize the benefits that these agreements provide.