Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) has been working with Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to push for the harmonization of standards, certification and regulation in Canada and the United States. This push for harmonization has been directed at the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Canada-United States Regulatory Council (RCC) to increase regulatory transparency and coordination between the two countries. The RCC has accomplished a great deal to date, but there is still a great deal of work to be done to truly eliminate unnecessary red tape and regulatory barriers.
Regulation plays an important role in both countries. Effective regulations protect health, safety and the environment while supporting growth, investment, innovation and market openness. Canada and the United States each have well-developed, independent regulatory regimes, department and agencies. Under the direction of the RCC, plans are being developed to enhance the mechanisms to foster cooperation in designing regulation and to ensure alignment in their implementation and enforcement – because…
- Unnecessary, duplicate regulation, hinders cross border trade and investment and ultimately imposes a cost on citizens, businesses and economies
- Greater alignment in regulatory approaches would lower cost to consumers and businesses, increase trade and investment, create more efficient supply chains, generate new export opportunities and create jobs on both sides of the border.
On October 7-8, 2014 the Canada-United States RCC held its annual Regulator and Stakeholder event in Washington, DC. EFC and NEMA participated in the meetings – our common goal being to include electrical products in the RCC discussions and action plans. The sessions attracted more than 400 stakeholders and government officials from the two countries who gathered to discuss the recently launched RCC “Go Forward Plan” and to contribute to its implementation. EFC and NEMA contributed in the following breakout session – Chemicals Management, Workplace Chemicals and Energy Efficiency Standards. These breakout sessions allowed the EFC/NEMA staffs to help define and develop the RCC’s “Go Forward Plan” and Phase II initiatives. Closer working relations were developed with Canadian ministries – National Resources Canada, Health Canada and Environment Canada. Relations were also further developed with the US departments – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy.
The “Go Forward Plan” sets the stage for fundamental changes in the way regulatory departments and agencies in both countries work together by institutionalizing joint plans and collaborating as a routine part of regulatory work.
EFC and NEMA will keep members updated on the RCC’s Phase II initiatives and its impact on the North American electrical industry sectors.
by Jim Taggart
President & CEO