WASHINGTON -- The Canadian and American governments say they're taking another step toward constantly co-ordinating regulatory environments across a broad range of industries.

Federal agencies will work with their cross-border counterparts to produce, within six months, public statements explaining how they'll work with industry, and each other, to simplify future regulations long-term for businesses operating in both countries.

The process will involve two-dozen areas including: meat inspection, animal health, toys, marine safety, aviation, energy efficiency, pharmaceuticals and pest control.

A 44-page document released today by the White House and Privy Council Office says the goal is to make co-operation a permanent and ongoing process, while future policies are being developed.

But it insists each nation would retain the sovereignty to make its own choices. The document says nothing under the initiative, called the Joint Forward Plan, would impose any obligations on either country under domestic or international law.

The process will be overseen by the Regulatory Cooperation Council, created in 2011 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama.