By APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance
SEATTLE, USA – Regulators need to strive to do better in designing policies that are balanced, equitable and eliminate undue burdens on groups such as small businesses and others with untapped economic potential, said experts at a good regulatory practices conference in Seattle on Thursday.
“We must never forget that at the core of everything we do, we aim to make people’s lives better,” said Richard Revesz, administrator of the United States office of information and regulatory affairs, in his keynote address at the conference.
“Efforts to reduce burdens, modernize regulatory review and pursue international regulatory cooperation are all means of pursuing our larger, collective aim: ensuring that regulations improve people’s lives, particularly those in underserved communities,” Revesz said.
The 16th Conference on Good Regulatory Practices, held in Seattle on the margins of the Third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings, brought together a diverse group of policy experts and regulatory decision-makers from the region to share best practices and discuss how government can make public consultations more inclusive – a key regulatory tool for engaging stakeholders.
A panel of speakers from Canada, Chile, Peru and the United States highlighted that regulators need to do a better job in receiving inputs from all interested and affected persons, identifying specific public concerns, and addressing problems.
They stressed that regulations affect diverse groups differently, and it is crucial to develop a better, honest and more transparent approach in reaching various groups, establishing relationships and engaging the public for their views.
“The regulatory actions of any one economy can affect international trade and investments as the world becomes smaller and more interconnected,” said Kent Shigetomi, chair of the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance.
“Good regulatory practices provide predictability and stability for traders and investors, but when used in the regulatory process also deliver greater economic and social benefits for the citizens of our economies,” Shigetomi added.
Regulatory authorities also explored how they can innovate and use technology tools to manage the regulatory process such as conducting consultations, managing comments and reviewing regulations.
“Core good regulatory practices such as the use of regulatory impact assessment, public consultation, and reliance on international standards, are crucial in developing policies and regulatory responses as we’re facing transboundary policy challenges like greening the economy,” said Renee Hancher, director of regulatory policy from the office of the United States Trade Representative, the public sector overseer of the APEC-funded project.
“There is also increasing focus on equity and inclusiveness in regulatory decision-making,” Hancher added. “We need to continue to build capacity among trade and regulatory officials in the region to produce better outcomes for all of our people.”
As the host economy of APEC 2023, the United States is putting forward a blueprint document for advancing good regulatory practices, which will feature updated tools, regulatory processes and regulatory flexibility measures that support innovation and growth.
The blueprint aims to support economies’ good regulatory efforts to incorporate new concepts, such as inclusiveness and regulatory agility, as well as practices that can improve the effectiveness of member economies’ legal infrastructure which also contributes to reducing barriers to trade and encouraging sustainable economic growth.