Washington, DC - The heads of the antitrust agencies of the United States, Canada and Mexico met today in Mexico City to discuss their ongoing work to ensure effective antitrust enforcement cooperation in our increasingly interconnected markets.
The meetings were held among Chairwoman Edith Ramirez of the Federal Trade Commission, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Canadian Commissioner of Competition John Pecman and President Alejandra Palacios Prieto of the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission.
“These meetings are an important element in building and maintaining the strong relationships that help us meet enforcement and policy challenges in all three countries,” said Chairwoman Ramirez. “The need to cooperate across our borders increases every year, and we are working together to meet that challenge.”
“We value our close relationships with our antitrust partners north and south of the border,” said Assistant Attorney General Baer. “Our shared enforcement interests and tradition of cooperating when investigating mergers and cartels ensure that North American market remain competitive. These annual ‘trilateral’ meetings give us a chance to review and improve our enforcement cooperation and to engage in policy dialogue on emerging topics of common interest.”
The four agency heads also spoke at a public conference organized by COFECE, which included a speech by Chairwoman Ramirez on the FTC’s enforcement tools.
The meetings build on the foundations laid by the 1995 antitrust cooperation agreement between the United States and Canada, the 1999 agreement between the United States and Mexico, and the 2001 agreement between Canada and Mexico. The agreements commit the antitrust agencies to cooperate and coordinate with each other to make their antitrust policies and enforcement as consistent and effective as possible.
As more U.S. companies and consumers do business overseas, more FTC work involves international cooperation. The Office of International Affairs serves both as an internal resource to Commission staff on international aspects of their work and as an official representative to numerous international organizations. In addition, the FTC cooperates with foreign authorities through formal and informal agreements. The FTC works with more than 100 foreign competition and consumer protection authorities around the world to promote sound policy approaches.