Executive Order 13609

Original Text

Effective Dates
5/1/2012 - Present

Reform Goals
EO 13609 aimed to promote international regulatory cooperation.

Requirements (What of whom?)
Agencies must report any international regulatory cooperation efforts that would have a large domestic impact. In the event that agencies conduct a retrospective review of regulations resulting from international cooperation, they must “consider” reforming existing rules to align with international cooperative agreements as they see fit. Finally, agencies should consider international cooperation for existing rules with a significant impact on international trade or investment.

Oversight for rule compliance
OIRA is required to convene the Working Group as necessary to discuss international regulatory cooperation issues, and the Working Group shall include a representative from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and, as appropriate, representatives from other agencies and offices. 

Reform “Teeth”
The international regulatory cooperation working group has no specific guidance on how to oversee international regulatory affairs.

A 2015 review found that agencies, in particular Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency, were not identifying rules likely to have a big impact on foreign direct investment in the U.S. [1] Since classifying rules with a significant impact on international trade is the first step in “considering” better regulatory cooperation, it appears that this EO has not had its intended effect.

It is plausible that this EO was formulated to give the appearance of consensus and cooperation to international bodies and foreign countries, but carefully worded so as to absolve domestic agencies of all responsibility.


  1. Daniel R. Pérez. "Consistent Inconsistencies: Misclassification of Rules Could Hamper International Regulatory Cooperation." George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center. August 26, 2015. Link , PDF