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Imposing and threatening new tariffs have generated many headlines in recent years, whether it involved the United States’ North American neighbors, its partners in Europe or its competitors in Asia, especially China. Much less attention has been given to divergent approaches to regulations and standards, which often pose significant barriers to trade and limit competitiveness.

As a major global marketplace, North America must address these issues forthrightly. North America trades over $2.6 billion a minute and has built impressive and resilient co-production value chains to support its economic prowess. But improvements in regulatory cooperation could provide a major boost to the benefits that the continent gains from the economic partnership among the US, Canada, and Mexico.

This essay is part of the series, "Strengthening North American Ties - A Must For Competitiveness," by the Wilson Center's Mexico and Canada Institutes. 

About the Author

Inu Manak

Inu Manak

Fellow for trade policy at the Council on Foreign Relations; Scholar, Robert A. Pastor Research Initiative, American University Center for Latin American and Latino Studies & the School of International Service
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

Canada Institute

Bound by common geopolitical interests and strong economic and cultural ties, Canada and the United States enjoy the world's most successful bilateral relationship. The Wilson Center's Canada Institute is the only public policy forum in the world dedicated to the full spectrum of Canada-U.S. issues. The Canada Institute is a global leader for policymakers, academics and business leaders to engage in non-partisan, informed dialogue about the current and future state of the relationship.     Read more