For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 23, 2005
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America Prosperity Agenda
Promoting Growth, Competitiveness and Quality of Life
To enhance the competitive position of North American industries in
the global marketplace and to provide greater economic opportunity for
all of our societies, while maintaining high standards of health and
safety for our people, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will work
together, and in consultation with stakeholders, to:
- Regulatory Cooperation to Generate Growth
- Lower costs for North American businesses, producers, and
consumers and maximize trade in goods and services across our borders
by striving to ensure compatibility of regulations and standards and
eliminating redundant testing and certification requirements.
- Strengthen regulatory cooperation, including at the onset
of the regulatory process, to minimize barriers.
- Sectoral Collaboration to Facilitate Business
- Explore new approaches to enhance the competitiveness of
North American industries by promoting greater cooperation in sectors
such as autos, steel, and other sectors identified through
- Strengthen North America's energy markets by working
together, according to our respective legal frameworks, to increase
reliable energy supplies for the region's needs and development, by
facilitating investment in energy infrastructure, technology
improvements, production and reliable delivery of energy; by enhancing
cooperation to identify and utilize best practices, and to streamline
and update regulations; and by promoting energy efficiency,
conservation, and technologies such as clean coal, carbon capture and
storage, hydrogen and renewable energy.
- Improve the safety and efficiency of North America's
transportation system by expanding market access, facilitating
multimodal corridors, reducing congestion, and alleviating bottlenecks
at the border that inhibit growth and threaten our quality of life
(e.g., expand air services agreements, increase airspace capacity,
initiate an Aviation Safety Agreement process, pursue smart border
information technology initiatives, ensure compatibility of regulations
and standards in areas such as statistics, motor carrier and rail
safety, and working with responsible jurisdictions, develop mechanisms
for enhanced road infrastructure planning, including an inventory of
border transportation infrastructure in major corridors and
public-private financing instruments for border projects).
- Work towards the freer flow of capital and the efficient
provision of financial services throughout North America (e.g.,
facilitate cross-border electronic access to stock exchanges without
compromising investor protection, further collaboration on training
programs for bank, insurance and securities regulators and supervisors,
seek ways to improve convenience and cost of insurance coverage for
carriers engaged in cross border commerce).
- Stimulate and accelerate cross-border technology trade by
preventing unnecessary barriers from being erected (e.g., agree on
mutual recognition of technical requirements for telecommunications
equipment, tests and certification; adopt a framework of common
principles for e-commerce).
- Investing in Our People
- Work through the Partnership for Prosperity and the
Canada-Mexico Partnership to strengthen our cooperation in the
development of human capital in North America, including by expanding
partnerships in higher education, science, and technology.
Reduce the Costs of Trade
- Efficient Movement of Goods
- Lower the transaction costs of trade in goods by
liberalizing the requirements for obtaining duty-free treatment under
NAFTA, including through the reduction of "rules of origin" costs on
goods traded between our countries. Each country should have in place
procedures to allow speedy implementation of rules of origin
- Increase competitiveness by exploring additional supply
chain options, such as by rationalizing minor differences in external
tariffs, consistent with multilateral negotiation strategies.
- Efficient Movement of People
- Identify measures to facilitate further the movement of
business persons within North America and discuss ways to reduce taxes
and other charges residents face when returning from other North
Enhance the Quality of Life
- Joint Stewardship of our Environment
- Expand cooperative work to improve air quality, including
reducing sulphur in fuels, mercury emissions, and marine emissions.
- Enhance water quality by working bilaterally, trilaterally
and through existing regional bodies such as the International Boundary
and Water Commission and the International Joint Commission.
- Combat the spread of invasive species in both coastal and
- Enhance partnerships and incentives to conserve habitat for
migratory species, thereby protecting biodiversity.
- Develop complementary strategies for oceans stewardship by
emphasizing an ecosystem approach, coordinating and integrating
existing marine managed areas, and improving fisheries management.
- Creating a Safer and More Reliable Food Supply while
Facilitating Agricultural Trade
- Pursue common approaches to enhanced food safety and
accelerate the identification, management and recovery from foodborne
and animal and plant disease hazards, which will also facilitate
- Enhance laboratory coordination and information-sharing by
conducting targeted bilateral and/or trilateral activities to establish
a mechanism to exchange information on laboratory methods and to build
confidence regarding each other's testing procedures and results.
- Increase cooperation in the development of regulatory
policy related to the agricultural biotechnology sectors in Canada,
Mexico and the United States, through the work of the North American
Biotechnology Initiative (NABI).
- Protect Our People from Disease
- Enhance public health cross-border coordination in
infectious diseases surveillance, prevention and control (e.g.,
- Improve the health of our indigenous people through
targeted bilateral and/or trilateral activities, including in health
promotion, health education, disease prevention, and research.
- Building upon cooperative efforts under the International
Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration
of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, work towards the identification and
adoption of best practices relating to the registration of medicinal
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