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

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a joint statement from Prime Minister Harper, President Bush and President Calderon: Montebello, Quebec , Canada We, the leaders of Canada , Mexico and the...

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.