regulators and stakeholders—such as industry and business interests and
consumer advocates—to collaborate and strategize with respect to regulatory
harmonization, and develop workable plans to identify key “flash point”
policies prior to the promulgation of regulations.182 In 2011, then-Canadian
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and United States President Barack Obama
announced the creation of the RCC, under which Prime Minister Harper
would provide a forum for regulators and interested stakeholders to
harmonize existing regulations and help prevent potential conflicts in future
regulations, easing cross-border trade and increasing the potential for
economic growth and development.183
The RCC works by matching federal regulatory agencies from each
country together to identify regulations that could be harmonized.184 Often,
stakeholders identify areas where American and Canadian regulations could
be aligned, and the RCC hosts periodic stakeholder sessions to solicit input
for potential harmonization initiatives.185 Through the RCC, both countries’
regulators can work together to harmonize conflicting regulations and
standards, making it easier for companies to conduct business on both sides
of the border.186 Reducing regulatory burdens should also reduce costs as
companies only have to meet the same or similar regulatory requirements,
thus making products more affordable for consumers and freeing up capital
While the RCC has branched into health, it has not yet focused on
regulatory harmonization around issues surrounding the exchange and use of
health data. 188 The RCC could play a major role in harmonizing policies
around health data, mobile health, electronic medical records, and similar
health information exchanges, but there are structurally limitations in how
Mexico and impose punitive tariffs against China, he has limited his remarks about the
Canadian border and trade to ‘not our biggest problem.’”).
182. CAN.-U.S. LAW INST., Welcoming Remarks, 37 CAN.-U.S. L.J. 289, 295 (2012).
183. Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister, PM and U.S. President Obama
Announce Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness between
Canada and the United States (Feb. 4, 2011), http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?m=%2
Findex&nid=587999 [hereinafter Shared Vision].
184. U.S.-CAN. REGULATORY COOPERATION COUNCIL, A New Era in U.S.-Canada
Regulatory Partnership (Jan. 30, 2012), http://trade.gov/rcc/rcc-summary.asp.
185. See, e.g., U.S.-CAN. REGULATORY COOPERATION COUNCIL, Stakeholders & Senior
Officials Meetings Agenda (May 4, 2016), http://trade.gov/rcc/documents/final-agenda-E.pdf.
186. Press Release, The White House, Joint Statement by President Obama and Prime
Minister Harper of Canada on Regulatory Cooperation (Feb. 4, 2011), https://www.whitehou
188. Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Forward Plan August
2014, GOV’T OF CAN. (Apr. 15, 2016), https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ip-pi/trans/ar-lr/rcc-ccmr/
cjfp-rppc-eng.asp [hereinafter Joint Forward Plan].