Archived - Leaders' Statement: Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America Established
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March 23, 2005
The attached Leaders' Statement and companion Security Agenda and Prosperity Agenda - announcing the establishment of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) - were released today at the conclusion of Prime Minister Paul Martin's meeting with United States President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
We, the elected leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, gather in Texas to announce the establishment of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
Over the past decade, our three nations have taken important steps to expand economic opportunity for our people and to create the most vibrant and dynamic trade relationship in the world. Since September 11, 2001, we have also taken significant new steps to address the threat of terrorism and to enhance the security of our people.
But more needs to be done. In a rapidly changing world, we must develop new avenues of cooperation that will make our open societies safer and more secure, our businesses more competitive, and our economies more resilient.
Our Partnership will accomplish these objectives through a trilateral effort to increase the security, prosperity, and quality of life of our citizens. This work will be based on the principle that our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary, and will reflect our shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic values and institutions. Also, it will help consolidate our action into a North American framework to confront security and economic challenges, and promote the full potential of our people, addressing disparities and increasing opportunities for all.
Our Partnership is committed to reach the highest results to advance the security and well-being of our people. The Partnership is trilateral in concept; while allowing any two countries to move forward on an issue, it will create a path for the third to join later.
Advancing our Common Security
We will establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America, and further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our shared borders. As part of our efforts, we will:
- Implement common border security and bioprotection strategies;
- Enhance critical infrastructure protection, and implement a common approach to emergency response;
- Implement improvements in aviation and maritime security, combat transnational threats, and enhance intelligence partnerships; and
- Implement a border facilitation strategy to build capacity and improve the legitimate flow of people and cargo at our shared borders.
Advancing our Common Prosperity
We will work to enhance North American competitiveness and improve the quality of life of our people. Among other things, we will:
- Improve productivity through regulatory cooperation to generate growth, while maintaining high standards for health and safety;
- Promote sectoral collaboration in energy, transportation, financial services, technology, and other areas to facilitate business; and invest in our people;
- Reduce the costs of trade through the efficient movement of goods and people; and
- Enhance the stewardship of our environment, create a safer and more reliable food supply while facilitating agricultural trade, and protect our people from disease.
We will establish Ministerial-led working groups that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working groups will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals. They will identify concrete steps that our governments can take to meet these goals, and set implementation dates that will permit a rolling harvest of accomplishments.
Within 90 days, Ministers will report back to us with their initial report. Following this, the groups will report on a semi-annual basis. Because the Partnership will be an ongoing process of cooperation, new items will be added to the work agenda by mutual agreement as circumstances warrant.
Through this Partnership, we will ensure that North America remains the most economically dynamic region of the world and a secure home for our people in this and future generations.
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
We are launching the next generation of our common security strategy to further secure North America and ensure the streamlined movement of legitimate travelers and cargo across our shared borders. To this end, Canada, the United States, and Mexico will work together to ensure the highest continent-wide security standards and streamlined risk-based border processes are achieved in the following priority areas:
Secure North America from External Threats
- Develop and implement a North American traveler security strategy, to include consistent outcomes with compatible processes, for screening prior to departure from a foreign port and at the first port of entry to North America.
- Develop and implement a North American cargo security strategy to ensure compatible screening methods for goods and cargo prior to departure from a foreign port and at the first point of entry to North America.
- Develop and implement a North American bioprotection strategy to assess, prevent, protect, detect, and respond to intentional, as well as applicable naturally occurring threats to public health and the food and agriculture system.
Prevent and Respond to Threats within North America
- Develop and implement a strategy to enhance North American maritime transportation and port security.
- Develop and implement a strategy to establish equivalent approaches to aviation security for North America.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive North American strategy for combating transnational threats to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including terrorism, organized crime, illegal drugs, migrant and contraband smuggling and trafficking.
- Enhance partnerships on intelligence related to North American security.
- Develop and implement a common approach to critical infrastructure protection, and response to cross-border terrorist incidents and, as applicable, natural disasters.
Further Streamline the Secure Movement of Low-risk Traffic across our Shared Borders
- Develop and implement a border facilitation strategy to build capacity and improve the legitimate flow of people and cargo at ports of entry within North America.
- Identify, develop, and deploy new technologies to advance our shared security goals and promote the legitimate flow of people and goods across our borders.
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
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.