The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan was released in December 2011. A White House press release describes the background and scope of the plan:
"The February Statement on Regulatory Cooperation recognized the critical importance of our $1 trillion annual bilateral trade and investment relationship and established the RCC with a two-year mandate to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to our consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination. The United States and Canada intend to eliminate unnecessary burdens on cross-border trade, reduce costs, foster cross-border investment, and promote certainty for the general public and businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises operating near the border, by coordinating, simplifying, and ensuring where possible the compatibility of regulations.
In March, a Federal Register Notice requested that the public submit ideas for suggested changes to existing regulations that would ease the transport and sale of goods and services on the other side of the border. Given the integrated nature of our economies, greater alignment and better mutual reliance on our regulatory approaches will lead to lower costs for consumers and businesses, create more efficient supply chains, increase trade and investment, generate new export opportunities, and create jobs on both sides of the border. Building on the numerous comments received from the public, we have agreed to focus our initial work on:
• agriculture and food;
• health, personal care products, and workplace chemicals; and
• the environment."