Increased regulatory cooperation in this sector will help make it easier to conduct business between the two countries, thus contributing to the benefits of Canada-U.S. trade in agriculture and agri-food products. By bringing together regulators and technical experts from both sides of the border, the collective capacity will serve to mutually strengthen the Canadian and U.S. regulatory systems for agriculture and food.
The Joint Action Plan focuses on three aspects of agriculture and food: food safety, agricultural production and marketing.
Canada and the U.S. have very rigorous food safety systems to protect consumers and contribute to the success of the sector. Acknowledging the high food safety standards on both sides of the border provides an opportunity to focus on areas of higher risk, while removing unnecessary burdens on food producers. Although each country independently administers its regulations – and there can be differences in approach – whenever possible, efforts should be focused on regulatory alignment recognizing common health and safety outcomes.
In this regard, the Joint Action Plan proposes to:
Canadian and U.S. regulatory requirements and approval processes for agricultural products such as veterinary drugs and crop protection products (like pesticides) are already highly aligned; however, more could be done to encourage simultaneous application for approval in both countries and to minimize differences in maximum residue limits.
The initiatives related to Agricultural Production in the Joint Action Plan propose to:
Canada and the U.S. recognize the need for common, fair trading practices to support a secure and stable market place (like tools to mitigate losses resulting from unethical actions and labelling standards consistent with industry conventions). To ensure a fair and competitive market for all producers, the Joint Action Plan will work toward establishing mechanisms that provide Canadian and American businesses with comparable tools to alleviate the risks associated with buyers who default on their payments. Specifically, it proposes to:
More details on these and other Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan measures are available at http://actionplan.gc.ca/border.