Given the high integration of the automotive industry, Canada and the U.S. build vehicles seamlessly on both sides of the border to essentially the same vehicle safety and emissions standards. Future free trade agreements will need to ensure Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) and vehicle emission standards (greenhouse gas and smog-related standards) are accepted and recognized.
The auto industry’s vision of Canada-U.S. regulatory harmonization remains – ONE PRODUCT, TESTED ONCE AND CERTIFIED ONCE FOR SALE ACROSS ONE MARKET. This means one set of regulatory requirements in Canada and the United States, testing to one common protocol and certified once for sale and registration across one integrated U.S. and Canadian market.
As Canada moves towards accelerating trade with other countries in emerging markets, this alignment and harmonization of vehicle standards will need to be an accepted component of any trade agreement to support global competitiveness. The ability for any country to differentiate would significantly undermine these high levels of vehicle standards.