Canada and U.S. joint Action Plans to Boost security, trade and travel

December 7, 2011

The United States is Canada’s most important trading partner, ally and friend. The Canada-U.S. Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness builds on existing initiatives to accelerate the flow of trade and people across the border.

On December 7, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Canada and the United States have agreed to implement two action plans designed to speed up legitimate trade and travel, improve security in North America, and align regulatory approaches between the two countries.

  1. The Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competivenessfocuses on four areas of cooperation:
    1. addressing threats early; facilitating trade;
    2. economic growth and jobs;
    3. integrating cross-border law enforcement; and
    4. improving critical infrastructure and cyber-security.
  2. The Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation will help reduce barriers to trade, lower costs for consumers and business, and create economic opportunities on both sides of the border. It identifies 29 initiatives where Canada and the U.S. will align their regulatory approaches in the areas of agriculture and food, transportation, health and personal care products, chemical management, the environment, and other cross-sectoral areas, while not compromising health, safety or environmental protection standards.

The two action plans respect the sovereignty of both countries and specify working together to promote the principles of human rights, privacy and civil liberty essential to the rule of law and the effective management of the perimeter.

As the action plans are implemented, the Government will consult with Parliament and Canadians and keep them informed of progress.

The news release and detailed backgrounders on each area of cooperation and what the initiatives will mean are available at