On February 13, 2014, the heads of the antitrust agencies of the U.S, Canada and Mexico—Chairwoman Edith Ramire of the FTC, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the DOJ’s Aititrust Division, Canadian Commissioner of Competition John Pecman, and President Alejandra Palacios Prieto of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission—met in Washington, D.C. to discuss mutual efforts to “ensure continued effective antitrust enforcement cooperation in [U.S., Canada and Mexico’s] increasingly interconnected markets.”
The discussions during the meeting covered a variety of topics, including “recent enforcement developments, mutual support and cooperation, and priority setting and efficiency in resource-constrained environments,” according to the FTC press release.
The three countries already have antitrust cooperation agreements, with the U.S.-Canada agreement coming in place in 1995, the U.S.-Mexico agreement in 1999, and the Mexico-Canada agreement in 2001. This meeting is intended to build upon the foundations laid by these existing agreements.
The three countries are also parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which also contains a chapter governing cooperation during antitrust investigations.