On May 1st, President Obama issued an Executive Order, "Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation," to address "unnecessary differences" between U.S. and international regulatory regimes. As Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs ("OIRA") Administrator Cass Sunstein stated in his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, the Executive Order has "a simple goal: to promote exports, growth and job creation by eliminating unnecessary regulatory differences across nations." Specifically, the Executive Order directs an interagency working group, led by OIRA, to identify, develop and coordinate U.S. efforts to promote international regulatory harmonization, while also soliciting input from "representatives of business, nongovernmental organizations and the public." The Executive Order directs federal agencies to document and report on their current international regulatory cooperation activities and consider reforms to existing regulations that address unnecessary regulatory differences between the U.S. and its major trading partners. The Executive Order also directs agencies to look at regulatory approaches being considered by existing Regulatory Cooperation Councils, and in his blog post explaining the Executive Order, Administrator Sunstein urged stakeholders to review the United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Action Plan and the United States-Mexico High-Level Regulatory Cooperation Council (HLRCC) Work Plan. While the Executive Order was immediately hailed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups that have long advocated international regulatory cooperation efforts, conservative and liberal interest groups have raised concerns that the Executive Order will compromise U.S. sovereignty by eroding federal agencies' existing regulatory authority.
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Executive Order seeks to ease regulatory burdens faced by U.S. companies abroad
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