|White House Press 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 consultations.
- 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 modifications.
- 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 American countries.
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 fresh waters.
- 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 trade.
- 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., pandemic influenza).
- 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 products.