Executive Director, Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Manager, Americas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
July 31, 2023
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long championed good regulatory practices, which not only help governments achieve better regulatory outcomes but also reduce trade frictions. In a positive development, the U.S. Trade Representative last week announced a convening of signatory countries of the Declaration on Good Regulatory Practices, which was signed by the U.S. and 13 of our Western Hemisphere neighbors to last year’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The meeting took place on the one-year anniversary of the Declaration and is a welcomed step towards implementation of the agreement.
What are good regulatory practices? The term covers:
- coordination and review of proposed rules among agencies;
- ensuring that regulations are developed and implemented in an open, transparent, and participatory manner (e.g., with notice and comment);
- assessing whether the benefits of a regulation will outweigh the costs; and
- committing to risk-based rules grounded in the best available data.
For nearly two decades the U.S. Chamber has worked with governments around the world to promote good regulatory practices that support effective, transparent, accountable, and consultative regulatory processes.
Good for Investment, Growth, and Job Creation
Good regulatory practices are essential to framing quality regulations and enforcement mechanisms that enhance market access and facilitate trade and investment. These practices lead to significant benefits for the economy, business, and the workers they employ. The benefits come through increased business certainty and predictability and the creation of a more prosperous business environment in which innovation flourishes.
In particular, good regulatory practices aid small and medium sized business’s ability to export their goods and services to more countries. After all, smaller firms often do not have the ability to absorb high compliance costs imposed by every country they seek to do business.
In the absence of good regulatory practices, businesses of all sizes face a patchwork of arbitrary, duplicative, and opaque regulatory requirements in different markets as regulators fail to consider their views and experiences.
Turning Words into Practice
The Declaration of Good Regulatory Practices is an important step, bringing together countries across the hemisphere, but it is only the beginning. Building on this agreement, signatory countries should use the momentum they have created to help advance initiatives such as the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP), which aims to promote economic prosperity, equality, and good jobs across the Americas.
One way to do this would be to negotiate chapters modeled on the good regulatory practices, trade facilitation, and anti-corruption chapters in the USMCA with the APEP economies. The U.S. has previously negotiated chapters on good regulatory practices and these other disciplines in the protocols on trade rules and transparency with Brazil and Ecuador agreed in 2020.
The U.S. Chamber is committed to working alongside USTR and other stakeholders to ensure that the Declaration on Good Regulatory Practices is implemented effectively in the context of APEP and the broader U.S. trade agenda. We believe these efforts will help create new opportunities for economic growth, innovation, and the creation of good jobs — and a more prosperous and equitable future across the Americas.
About the authors
Abel Torres serves as Executive Director in the Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation (GRC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Megan Bridges is a Manager in the America's Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and supports the U.S.-Colombia Business Council and the Coalition for the Rule of Law in Global Markets.