Active from 2006 to 2009, the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) was made up of high-level private sector leaders from the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The NACC was the private sector component of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), an effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the three countries through greater cooperation and information sharing. The NACC was formed in 2006 after President George W. Bush, President Vicente Fox, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper encouraged the private sector to formally participate in the SPP process. Council of the Americas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad, and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives jointly served as the NACC secretariat.
As part of the SPP, the NACC provided recommendations to the leaders of the three countries on actions to strengthen North American competitiveness. The trilateral recommendations were the product of consultations with hundreds of companies, sectoral associations, and chambers of commerce throughout North America.
Highlights of the NACC’s Work
- In February 2007, the NACC met with U.S., Mexican, and Canadian security and prosperity ministers to discuss 51 recommendations for action in three areas: border crossing facilitation; standards and regulatory cooperation; and energy integration.
- The NACC submitted its first report to President Bush, President Felipe Calderón, and Prime Minister Harper during the North American Leaders Summit in Montebello, Quebec, in August 2007. At the summit, the leaders from the three countries identified five priorities for cooperation: North American global competitiveness; safe food and products; sustainable energy and the environment; smart and secure borders; and emergency management and preparedness.
- The NACC met with security and prosperity ministers in February 2008 in Los Cabos, Mexico, to review progress on the NACC’s recommendations and the five priorities identified at the Summit in Montebello.
- In April 2008, the NACC delivered its second report to President Bush, President Calderón, and Prime Minister Harper at the North American Leaders’ Summit in New Orleans. The report focused on priority issues for North American cooperation, such as intellectual property rights protection, energy and environmental management, emergency response coordination, and the alignment of vehicle safety standards and regulations.
- U.S., Mexican, and Canadian representatives of the NACC met with prosperity ministers in Atlanta in August 2008 to discuss strategies for balancing cross-border security considerations with legitimate international trade.
- In August 2009, the NACC submitted a statement to leaders in advance of the 2009 North American Leaders’ Summit. In the midst of the global financial crisis, the NACC urged North American governments to resist protectionism and to continue their work on border management, regulatory coordination, energy integration, and other important issues essential to the prosperity and security of North America.