By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote international regulatory cooperation, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), states that our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. In an increasingly global economy, international regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting the goals of Executive Order 13563.
The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.
Sec. 2. Coordination of International Regulatory Cooperation. (a) The Regulatory Working Group (Working Group) established by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), which was reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563, shall, as appropriate:
(i) serve as a forum to discuss, coordinate, and develop a common understanding among agencies of U.S. Government positions and priorities with respect to:
(A) international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulatory actions;
(B) efforts across the Federal Government to support significant, cross-cutting international regulatory cooperation activities, such as the work of regulatory cooperation councils; and
(C) the promotion of good regulatory practices internationally, as well as the promotion of U.S. regulatory approaches, as appropriate; and
(ii) examine, among other things:
(A) appropriate strategies for engaging in the development of regulatory approaches through international regulatory cooperation, particularly in emerging technology areas, when consistent with section 1 of this order;
(B) best practices for international regulatory cooperation with respect to regulatory development, and, where appropriate, information exchange and other regulatory tools; and
(C) factors that agencies should take into account when determining whether and how to consider other regulatory approaches under section 3(d) of this order.
(b) As Chair of the Working Group, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shall convene the Working Group as necessary to discuss international regulatory cooperation issues as described above, and the Working Group shall include a representative from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and, as appropriate, representatives from other agencies and offices.
(c) The activities of the Working Group, consistent with law, shall not duplicate the efforts of existing interagency bodies and coordination mechanisms. The Working Group shall consult with existing interagency bodies when appropriate.
(d) To inform its discussions, and pursuant to section 4 of Executive Order 12866, the Working Group may commission analytical reports and studies by OIRA, the Administrative Conference of the United States, or any other relevant agency, and the Administrator of OIRA may solicit input, from time to time, from representatives of business, nongovernmental organizations, and the public.
(e) The Working Group shall develop and issue guidelines on the applicability and implementation of sections 2 through 4 of this order.
(f) For purposes of this order, the Working Group shall operate by consensus.
Sec. 3. Responsibilities of Federal Agencies. To the extent permitted by law, and consistent with the principles and requirements of Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866, each agency shall:
(a) if required to submit a Regulatory Plan pursuant to Executive Order 12866, include in that plan a summary of its international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulations, with an explanation of how these activities advance the purposes of Executive Order 13563 and this order;
(b) ensure that significant regulations that the agency identifies as having significant international impacts are designated as such in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, on RegInfo.gov, and on Regulations.gov;
(c) in selecting which regulations to include in its retrospective review plan, as required by Executive Order 13563, consider:
(i) reforms to existing significant regulations that address unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements between the United States and its major trading partners, consistent with section 1 of this order, when stakeholders provide adequate information to the agency establishing that the differences are unnecessary; and
(ii) such reforms in other circumstances as the agency deems appropriate; and
(d) for significant regulations that the agency identifies as having significant international impacts, consider, to the extent feasible, appropriate, and consistent with law, any regulatory approaches by a foreign government that the United States has agreed to consider under a regulatory cooperation council work plan.
Sec. 4. Definitions. For purposes of this order:
(a) "Agency" means any authority of the United States that is an "agency" under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).
(b) "International impact" is a direct effect that a proposed or final regulation is expected to have on international trade and investment, or that otherwise may be of significant interest to the trading partners of the United States.
(c) "International regulatory cooperation" refers to a bilateral, regional, or multilateral process, other than processes that are covered by section 6(a)(ii), (iii), and (v) of this order, in which national governments engage in various forms of collaboration and communication with respect to regulations, in particular a process that is reasonably anticipated to lead to the development of significant regulations.
(d) "Regulation" shall have the same meaning as "regulation" or "rule" in section 3(d) of Executive Order 12866.
(e) "Significant regulation" is a proposed or final regulation that constitutes a significant regulatory action.
(f) "Significant regulatory action" shall have the same meaning as in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
Sec. 5. Independent Agencies. Independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to comply with the provisions of this order.
Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof;
(ii) the coordination and development of international trade policy and negotiations pursuant to section 411 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2451) and section 141 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2171);
(iii) international trade activities undertaken pursuant to section 3 of the Act of February 14, 1903 (15 U.S.C. 1512), subtitle C of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988, as amended (15 U.S.C. 4721 et seq.), and Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2171 note);
(iv) the authorization process for the negotiation and conclusion of international agreements pursuant to 1 U.S.C. 112b(c) and its implementing regulations (22 C.F.R. 181.4) and implementing procedures (11 FAM 720);
(v) activities in connection with subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31 of the United States Code, title 26 of the United States Code, or Public Law 111-203 and other laws relating to financial regulation; or
(vi) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The White House,
May 1, 2012.