Joint Statement of Prime Minister Harper, President Bush and President Calderon at the North American Leaders' Summit

Aug 21, 2007, 01:00 ET from White House Press Office

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a joint
 statement from Prime Minister Harper, President Bush and President
     Montebello, Quebec, Canada
     We, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States, have met in
 Montebello to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing North America
 and to establish priorities for our further collaboration. As neighbours,
 we share a commitment to ensure North America remains a safe, secure and
 economically dynamic region, and a competitive player in global markets. We
 also discussed opportunities to cooperate globally and within our own
 hemisphere. The values and principles we share, in particular democracy,
 the rule of law and respect for individual rights and freedoms, underpin
 our efforts in building a more prosperous and secure region.
     The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP),
 launched in 2005, is aimed at jointly achieving tangible results across a
 spectrum of areas, while respecting each nation's sovereignty. On February
 23, 2007, our ministers responsible for the SPP met in Ottawa to review
 progress and discuss our further cooperation. Our ministers of industry and
 commerce, foreign affairs, security, environment, energy, health,
 transportation and trade have also met in recent months, reflecting our
 deepening dialogue within North America. They have made progress in
 advancing the priorities we identified at our 2006 meeting in Cancun. In
 particular, our three countries have completed:
     -- a North American Plan for Avian and Pandemic Influenza;
     -- a Regulatory Cooperation Framework;
     -- an Intellectual Property Action Strategy; and
     -- a Trilateral Agreement for Cooperation in Energy Science and
     In Montebello, we have discussed how we can build on our progress to
 date to further improve North America's position in the world. The North
 American Competitiveness Council (NACC), announced last year in Cancun, has
 provided us with thoughtful recommendations on how we could strengthen the
 competitive platform for businesses. We welcome the NACC's recommendations,
 including its readiness to be part of the solution, and we look forward to
 continuing our dialogue with the NACC in furthering North America's
 competitiveness. We ask that our ministers continue to seek input from
 interested parties in determining future priorities for increasing the
 security, prosperity and quality of life in North America. In this, the
 third year of the SPP, we direct our ministers to review the SPP process,
 focus on priorities and deliver results.
     We ask our ministers to focus their collaboration in five priority
 areas for the next year:
     Enhancing the Global Competitiveness of North America
     The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a tremendous mutual
 success in strengthening our economies and in enhancing the competitiveness
 of North America. In a rapidly changing global economy, we must build on
 NAFTA's success and reduce unnecessary trade barriers to ensure North
 America remains a competitive and a dynamic place to do business. To this
 end, the Regulatory Cooperation Framework will enable us to develop
 regulatory approaches that are compatible across our borders, while
 maintaining high standards of health, safety and environmental protection.
 In the coming year, we ask our ministers to consider work in areas, such as
 the chemicals, automotive, transportation, and information and
 communications technology sectors. The Intellectual Property Action
 Strategy also gives us an invaluable tool for combating counterfeiting and
 piracy, which undermine innovation, harm economic development and can have
 negative public-health and safety implications. We also ask our ministers
 to implement the Strategy and take concrete steps to strengthen our ability
 to combat counterfeiting and piracy in North America.
     We are strongly committed to advancing multilateral trade
 liberalization through a successful, comprehensive and ambitious conclusion
 to the WTO Doha Round of negotiations. We endorse the work of our trade
 ministers in Vancouver on June 13-14, 2007, to build on NAFTA's success and
 advance our shared interests in the Doha Round. We ask them to renew their
 efforts, working with their WTO colleagues, to achieve a balanced outcome
 that results in meaningful increases in trade in goods and services and
 improvements in global trading conditions.
     Safe Food and Products
     We will seek to strengthen the existing cooperation and mechanisms
 within the region, build on current standards and practices, and work with
 our trading partners outside North America using a scientific risk-based
 approach to identify and stop unsafe food and products before they enter
 our countries. These efforts could include: working with authorities to
 strengthen inspection and certification in exporting countries; identifying
 best practices by importers in selecting foreign manufacturers and
 inspecting goods either before export or before distribution; and reviewing
 our own existing authorities and practices to enhance national, regional
 and local coordination. Our governments will continue to address the safety
 of food and products imported into North America, while facilitating the
 significant trade in these products that our countries already have and
 without imposing unnecessary barriers to trade.
     Sustainable Energy and the Environment
     The further development of clean and sustainable energy is critical to
 reduce the effects of climate change and air pollution, while fuelling the
 North American economy. We support an integrated approach to climate
 change, energy security and economic development, and support the
 development and deployment of clean energy technologies. Cooperation among
 our major economies on a range of policy tools and sectoral approaches will
 advance these objectives. In particular, we ask our ministers to explore
 ways to cooperate on national auto fuel efficiency standards. We also ask
 our ministers to develop projects under the newly signed energy science and
 technology agreement, cooperate on moving new technologies to the
 marketplace and collaborate on energy efficiency.
     Smart and Secure Borders
     Our borders must be both efficient and secure if we are to continue to
 enhance prosperity, security and quality of life in North America.
 Effective border strategies minimize security risks, while facilitating the
 efficient and safe movement of goods, services and people, as trade and
 cross-border travel increase in North America. These strategies will draw
 on risk-based border management, innovative use of new technologies,
 coordinated border infrastructure development, and by moving, where
 possible, inspection and screening away from the land border. It is
 sometimes best to screen goods and travellers prior to entry into North
 America. We ask our ministers to develop mutually acceptable inspection
 protocols to detect threats to our security, such as from incoming
 travellers during a pandemic and from radiological devices on general
 aviation. We also ask our ministers to further cooperate in law
 enforcement, screening and facilitation of legitimate trade and travellers
 across our borders.
     Emergency Management and Preparedness
     The consequences of catastrophic events often transcend national
 borders. Preparation and planning can mitigate the impact of such events on
 people and our economies. Much work has been undertaken between our
 countries at national, sub-national and local levels to develop common
 approaches for responding to major incidents. We ask our ministers to
 continue this work and to address any obstacles preventing critical
 equipment, supplies and personnel from being deployed expeditiously to
 those parts of North America where they are needed. We also ask them to
 develop procedures for managing the movement of goods and people across our
 shared borders during and following an emergency.
     The SPP is focussed on the well-being of North America, but we also
 share a desire to work together to advance prosperity, security and
 stability globally. In Montebello, therefore, we also discussed
 opportunities to cooperate globally and within our own hemisphere. We ask
 foreign ministers to enhance dialogue and cooperation in North America, as
 well as in the hemisphere in such areas as emergency management and
 preparedness, and disaster risk reduction. Our shared values will continue
 to guide our collaboration as continental neighbours and global allies in
 the future.
     Prime Minister Harper and President Calderon were pleased to accept the
 proposal of President Bush for the United States to host the next meeting
 of North American leaders in 2008.
     We, the leaders of North America, have asked our ministers to pursue
 the following priority activities and ask them to report to us on their
 progress in one year:
     Enhancing the Global Competitiveness of North America
     Global markets are changing, with dynamic new players becoming more
 competitive and innovative. More and more firms are relying on inputs from
 a wide range of international sources for their manufacturing and
 production processes. In this highly competitive environment, compatible
 regulations and standards enable us to protect health, safety and the
 environment, as well as to facilitate trade in goods and services across
 our borders. Strong copyright and piracy protection also encourage
 entrepreneurship and protect our citizens. Over the coming year, we ask our
 ministers to strengthen North America as a platform for global success and
 to achieve progress on regulatory cooperation and the protection of
 intellectual property. In particular, we ask our ministers to implement:
     The Regulatory Cooperation Framework announced today by:
     -- strengthening regulatory cooperation, streamlining regulations and
        processes, encouraging compatibility of regulations and eliminating
        redundant testing and certification requirements while maintaining
        high standards of health, safety and environmental protection;
     -- considering measures and initiatives in areas such as the chemical,
        automotive, transportation, and information and communication
        technology sectors; and
     -- undertaking trilateral cooperation to accelerate and strengthen our
        national and regional risk-based chemical assessment and management
     The Intellectual Property Action Strategy released today by:
     -- developing collaborative measures to improve the detection and
        deterrence of counterfeiting and piracy, expanding public awareness
        of the importance of intellectual property to our economies and for
        consumer health and safety, and better measuring the scope and
        magnitude of counterfeiting and piracy in North America; and
     -- taking steps such as developing best practices for enforcement and
        sharing information and intelligence on border enforcement techniques.
     We also endorse our ministers' plans to
     -- develop an economic work plan to respond to the ever increasing
        pressures on North American competitiveness and to facilitate trade
        in specific sectors to foster stronger North American value chains; and
     -- conduct an analysis of the free trade agreements that each country has
        negotiated subsequent to the NAFTA, beginning with those in the western
        hemisphere, including opportunities for innovative provisions on rules
        of origin.
     Safe Food and Products
     In order to promote the safety of imported products that enter North
     America and to facilitate trade, we ask ministers to:
     -- strengthen existing mechanisms within the region and the exchange
        information on import-safety issues, with the objective of enhancing
        the safety of food and products before they enter our countries; and
     -- identify and share with their SPP counterparts the best practices
        used by importing companies in each country to secure their supply
        chains and ensure that quality and safety are built into products
        before they are exported.
     Sustainable Energy and the Environment
     Balancing our energy requirements with the stewardship of our environment
     is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We need to enhance our
     research into new and clean technologies, facilitate the deployment of
     these technologies to the market, and improve our energy efficiency. We
     ask our ministers to advance work over the next year to:
     -- identify and pursue cooperative energy science and technology
        activities under the newly signed Trilateral Agreement for Cooperation
        in Energy and Science Technology;
     -- reduce barriers to the deployment of new and clean technologies;
     -- continue with efforts to align energy efficiency standards in key
        products and standby power consumption;
     -- cooperate for our mutual benefit in the development of biofuels,
        vehicle fuel efficiency technologies and technologies to reduce
        emissions; and
     -- share information and experience and cooperate in efforts to achieve
        comparable emission measurement, reporting and verification, in order
        to develop publicly available national emissions inventories. This
        exchange would include sharing of emissions information on, for
        example, NOx, SOx, CO2, VOCs, NH3, Hg and particulates.
     Smart and Secure Borders
     Our three countries have a long history of cooperative border
 management, predicated on the understanding that our prosperity and
 security depend on borders that operate efficiently and effectively under
 all circumstances. In some cases, the best time to screen travellers and
 commerce is before they enter North America. Coordinated, mutually
 acceptable procedures for detecting threats far from our borders are a
 means to do this. Recognizing differences in legal frameworks and policies,
 and noting the positive effect on our common security of current
 information sharing initiatives, we will seek to enhance our cooperation in
 this respect.
     We ask ministers to continue to pursue measures to facilitate the safe
     and secure movement of trade and travellers across our borders and, in particular, to:
     -- expedite air transportation through the development of comparable
        protocols and procedures to eliminate duplicate screening for baggage
        placed on a connecting flight in North America, and for inbound and
        outbound air cargo shipments;
     -- develop mutually acceptable approaches to screening for radiological
        and other similar threats, to include general aviation pathways, and
        to continue to undertake cooperative or joint research to manage such
     -- develop mutually acceptable approaches to screening people during a
     -- pursue, according to our respective laws, new, innovative and
        interoperable law enforcement models that promote seamless operations
        at the border, such as the Canada-US International Maritime Security
        Operations, to better protect our citizens from criminal and
        terrorist threats;
     -- improve and expand existing radio communications available to law
        enforcement agencies working on border security and cross-border law
     -- work with stakeholders to identify ways to further enhance benefits of
        trusted traveller programs (NEXUS, FAST and SENTRI), including through
        expanding and streamlining application processing, further program
        integration and coordinated infrastructure investments;
     -- alleviate bottlenecks at the US-Mexico border, facilitate the
        legitimate flow of trade and people, and increase border security to
        address specific border issues related to congestion, current and
        future infrastructure needs, customs cooperation, stakeholder outreach
        and technology; and
     -- Canada and the US will maintain a high priority on the development of
        enhanced capacity of the border crossing infrastructure in the
        Detroit-Windsor region, the world's busiest land crossing.
     Emergency Management and Preparedness
     Neighbours help each other in times of distress. Our governments have
 worked together to address how we might better prevent, prepare for, and
 respond to disasters -- either natural or man-made -- by developing a
 common approach to all aspects of emergency management. We ask our
 ministers to continue this work and specifically to:
     -- define, develop and coordinate appropriate responses to catastrophic
        incidents in North America; and
     -- develop bilateral and trilateral protocols and procedures through the
        Canada-Mexico-United States Emergency Management Council to manage the
        movement of goods and people, including emergency responders, across
        our shared borders during and following an emergency, and to improve
        communications among governments and between governments and industry,
        particularly during times of increased threat.
     Strengthening the Competitiveness of North America
     -- To lower costs for business, maximize trade and protect health, safety
        and the environment, our governments completed a trilateral Regulatory
        Cooperation Framework. The framework promotes information sharing
        among regulators and greater compatibility of regulations and
        regulatory processes.
     -- To enhance our common efforts to protect intellectual property rights,
        the three governments finalized an Action Strategy to combat
        trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.
     -- To strengthen our energy security, environmental protection and
        economic sustainability, our governments finalized a Trilateral
        Agreement for Cooperation in Energy Science and Technology.
     -- To increase trade among our three countries, our governments
        implemented changes to the NAFTA rules of origin by mid-2006 that
        covered approximately $30 billion in annual trilateral trade. An
        additional set of changes, agreed to in 2007, will reduce
        export-related transaction costs for approximately $100 billion in
        annual trilateral trade.
     -- To promote safety and the seamless flow of goods across our border,
        Canada and the United States have agreed to the reciprocal recognition
        of containers used for the transportation of dangerous goods.
     -- To enhance the introduction of new wireless services and technologies,
        Canada and the United States have implemented a new process to
        expedite radio spectrum sharing arrangements for the border regions.
        This ensures citizens have timely access to the latest wireless
        services, and public safety and national security authorities have the
        spectrum they need, when they need it.
     -- To improve the compatibility and reliability of critically important
        wireless communications for public safety/first responders, Mexico and
        the United States signed a protocol in August facilitating cross
        border communications.
     -- To facilitate the trade of telecommunications equipment, Canada and
        the United States recognized each other's testing and certification
        for telecommunications equipment. Mexico will have a process in place
        by the end of 2007 to mutually accept test reports from the US and
        Canada. This reduces production costs and shortens the time to bring
        new products to market.
     -- To modernize aviation relations and provide airlines with added
        flexibility to offer better choices and services, the United States
        and Canada signed and implemented the text of a comprehensive
        Open-Skies air transport agreement on March 12, 2007.
     -- To increase border crossing efficiency at the port of entry, the
        United States and Mexico announced synchronized, extended hours of
        operation at the Santa Teresa/San Jeronimo Port of Entry starting
        September 2007.
     -- As part of the North American Steel Strategy, North American
        governments launched a trilateral, publicly-available North American
        Steel Trade Monitor website presenting North American steel trade data
        on a consolidated basis.
     -- Mexico and the United States established a bilateral Border
        Facilitation Working Group to advance in the areas of infrastructure,
        technology, coordination, and stakeholder outreach and engagement
        while ensuring high levels of security at our points of entry.
     Improving the Safety and Security of our Citizens
     -- To better detect nuclear and radiological material at ports, the
        Mexican government has agreed to install advanced radiological
        detection technology at the ports of Lazaro Cardenas, Altamira,
        Manzanillo and Veracruz. About 92 percent of Mexico's maritime cargo
        passes through these ports.
     -- To improve surveillance at ports, Canada has completed the
        installation of radiation detection equipment in Montreal, Halifax and
        Deltaport in Vancouver which, when fully operational, will screen 100
        percent of inbound containers.
     -- To improve the security and predictability of travel documents, Canada
        and the United States approved the Recommended Standards for Secure
        Proof of Status and Nationality.
     -- To enhance and strengthen cargo security programs, Canada and the
        United Sates initiated a five-year program to harmonize automated
        commercial information systems.
     Protecting our Environment, Health and Quality of Life
     -- To detect, contain and control an avian influenza outbreak, and to
        mitigate the impacts of a possible human influenza pandemic in North
        America, our governments have finalized a North American Plan for
        Avian and Pandemic Influenza.
     -- To promote energy efficiency, our governments have harmonized energy
        performance standards for key household appliances and consumer
        products, such as freezers, refrigerators and room air conditioners.
     -- To raise the health status of indigenous people, Canada, Mexico and
        the United States exchanged information and research on various
        indigenous health issues, including suicide prevention, Fetal Alcohol
        Spectrum Disorder, diabetes and indigenous health systems.
     -- To benefit our environment and quality of life, Canada and the United
        States signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) aimed at improving
        motor vehicle fuel efficiency. The MoC will allow the two countries
        to benefit from each others knowledge and experience in the area of
        fuel efficiency.
     -- To protect the environment, enhance health of people and promote the
        competitiveness of the automotive industry, Mexico started a program
        to gradually increase, from 2006 to 2009, the supply of low sulphur
        fuels in all the country.
     -- To improve the ecological health of our shared marine resources, our
        governments continued to expand the North American Marine Protected
        Areas (MPA) Network. The Network will use our countries' marine
        protected areas in the development of a tri-national MPA-based
        monitoring program stretching from Baja to the Bering Strait.
     -- To assure the safety of consumers and the security of our food and
        agriculture systems, Canada, Mexico and the United States agreed to
        share current threat and vulnerability assessment methodology and
        information for the food and agriculture systems, including imported
        and exported foods of higher concern, then undertake joint threat and
        vulnerability assessments.
     -- To better inform our citizens and civil society and receive input on
        our collaborative efforts under the SPP framework, the governments of
        Mexico and Canada hosted seminars with academics and specialists on the
        three countries as part of an ongoing public policy consultation
        process regarding the future of North America.

SOURCE White House Press Office