Tuesday, January 31, 2012 by Kathy Means
How can we better move trade across the U.S.-Canada border? That’s at the heart of Jan. 30-31 discussions in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. – Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) works on its Joint Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation, released December 7, 2011 by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama after private sector consultations and bilateral negotiations. The Joint Action Plan is a practical first step to increased regulatory cooperation between the United States and Canada.
To get there, bilateral working groups led by senior regulatory officials from both sides of the border are developing work plans, and the private sector was invited to learn more about the RCC and offer input on those work plans. You can find the work plans online.
I’ll be attending sessions on plant protection, crop protection products, a common approach to food safety and testing, and financial protection to produce sellers. You may recall that we’ve written about financial risk mitigation here on Field to Fork. PMA supports a PACA-trust-like tool in Canada and works toward this end through the CPMA-led North American Trade Committee and this RCC process. The other topics are also critical to speedier and more-harmonized trade between these two critical trading partners.
It’s been great to see our counterparts from CPMA as well as other produce advocates. I’ll let you know how the sessions go. We’ll also discuss this on PMA Xchange in the Global Trade discussion group. Join us there and let us know what your priorities are for U.S.-Canada trade.