The three federal agencies tasked with the safety of consumer products made and sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico have agreed to work together to strengthen protections for children and consumers.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, and the Consumer Protection Federal Agency of the United Mexican States (Profeco) have promised greater consultation in six areas.

These include proposed regulations and voluntary standards, risk assessment, import and market surveillance, training and outreach, consumer awareness campaigns, and potential joint recalls or corrective actions.

The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the US, Canada, and Mexico created the world's largest free trade area, linking 450m people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services.

The increasing volume of global trade and the complexity of global supply chains require cooperation among consumer product safety authorities.

"We are facing common challenges and opportunities to promote product safety, and we can be more effective in protecting consumers in the United States and across North America through collaboration and being proactive," said CPSC's Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

Imports from Mexico and Canada - both of which share major land borders with the US - accounted for the second and third largest shares, respectively, of imported consumer products likely to be under CPSC jurisdiction.

"If products can be regulated in a harmonised manner and emerging hazards can be addressed swiftly, then consumers in all three countries can benefit", said Chairman Tenenbaum.