Joint Press Availability with President Bush, President Calderon and Prime Minister Harper (2008)





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Published on Apr 27, 2012


April 22, 2008

As continental neighbors and partners committed to democratic government, the rule of law and respect for individual rights and freedoms, Canada, Mexico and the United States have shared interests in keeping North America secure, prosperous, and competitive in today's global environment. We met in New Orleans to discuss how we might collaborate further to achieve these goals, as well as to discuss our hemispheric and global interests and concerns.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), based on the principle that security and prosperity depend on each other, is a useful mechanism that helps us to identify and pursue practical solutions to shared challenges in North America in a way that respects our individual and sovereign interests. We each remain open and accountable to our own people.

The SPP complements the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has helped to triple trade since 1993 among our three countries to a projected $1 trillion in 2008. NAFTA has offered our consumers a greater variety of better and less expensive goods and services, encouraged our businesses to increase investment throughout North America, and helped to create millions of new jobs in all three countries. NAFTA is key to maintaining North America's competitive edge in an increasingly complex, fast-paced and connected global marketplace.

Our Ministers responsible for security and prosperity met in Los Cabos, Mexico on February 27, 2008 to advance the five priority areas we identified last year in Montebello. In New Orleans, we decided that our Ministers should renew and focus their work in the following areas:

* To increase the competitiveness of our businesses and economies, we are working to make our regulations more compatible, which will support integrated supply chains and reduce the cost of goods traded within North America. In the auto industry, for example, we are seeking to implement compatible fuel efficiency regimes and high safety standards to protect human health and the environment, and to reduce the costs of producing cars and trucks for the North American market. We also are strengthening efforts to protect our inventors, authors, performers and other innovators by advancing our Intellectual Property Action Strategy. We have forged stronger relationships to support more effective law enforcement efforts to combat the trade of counterfeit and pirated goods.

* To make our borders smarter and more secure, we are coordinating our long-term infrastructure plans and are taking steps to enhance services, and reduce bottlenecks and congestion at major border crossings. In this regard, we are working to coordinate the efforts of federal agencies to enhance capacity at major border crossing points, such as Detroit-Windsor and San Diego-Tijuana. We are deepening cooperation on the development and application of technology to make our border both smarter and more secure, as well as strengthen trusted traveler and shipper programs. We will seek to allocate resources efficiently so as to avoid unnecessary inspections. We are exploring new customs procedures, such as a more uniform filing procedure, with the aim of reducing transactional costs while enhancing the security of our borders. We are cooperating to install advanced screening equipment at ports of entry to deter and detect the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials. The United States and Canada are working to finalize a framework agreement to govern cross-border maritime enforcement operations in shared waterways. All of these efforts will help us more effectively facilitate the legal flow of people and goods across our shared borders while addressing threats to our safety.

* To strengthen energy security and protect the environment, we are seeking to develop a framework for harmonization of energy efficiency standards, and sharing technical information to improve the North American energy market. Together we intend to create an outlook for biofuels for the region, work to enhance our electricity networks, and make more efficient use of our energy through increasing fuel efficiency of our vehicles. Building on the gains in technology over the last 5 years, we are exchanging information and exploring opportunities for joint collaboration to further reduce barriers to expanding clean energy technologies, especially carbon dioxide capture and storage to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. We are working to better North America's air quality and working together to improve the safety of chemicals in the marketplace.

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