The Federal Trade Commission and Industry Canada today announced the formation of a U.S.-Canadian Task Force on Cross-Border Deceptive Marketing Practices. The Task Force was established in order to create a more formal framework for cooperation and coordination with respect to enforcement of laws prohibiting deceptive marketing practices.
Under an agreement signed today by Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Rachel Larabie-LeSieur, Deputy Director of Investigation and Research, Marketing Practices Branch, Competition Bureau (Canada), the two agencies will set up a Task Force that will coordinate enforcement efforts between the two countries. The goal is to stop perpetrators of fraud from seeking to evade law enforcement by setting up a base of operations in one country and targeting citizens of the other country.
In its initial work, the Task Force will:
- identify suspected deceptive operations that are based either in Canada or in the United States but target the residents of the other country, and encourage cooperative and reciprocal efforts among law enforcement agencies of the two countries in order to combat this type of deception more effectively;
- explore avenues for bringing about more effective cross-border information sharing; and
- involve other law enforcement agencies of the two countries in the cooperative efforts that it develops.
According to Jodie Bernstein, "We've always enjoyed working with Canadian officials informally, coordinating our deceptive marketing activities. Now, a more formal framework will broaden our joint efforts. With enhanced cooperation among law enforcement agencies in Canada and the U.S., the long arm of consumer protection enforcement will extend even further."
Copies of the Task Force Agreement are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov.
Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection