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What Is Mutual Aid Agreement

Because the MAA and other states resolve state law issues related to the sharing of supplies, equipment and personnel in undeclared emergencies, they can also serve as mechanisms to determine the best way to meet federal constitutional requirements. Particularly in the intergovernmental context, prosecutors could examine the case law that defines the “Compact” clause with respect to interstate agreements, to determine whether states have more leeway in relation to such agreements than in the case of agreements with foreign governments. The case law suggests that binding agreements may be valid without congressional approval if they do not enter the power of the federal government or if they do not alter the political balance between states and the federal government25.25 The U.S.-Canada Treaty calls for the promotion and facilitation of adequate cooperation with emergency management by provinces and states. The Stafford Act requires the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “provide all viable assistance to states when it comes to organizing, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, emergency reciprocal assistance between states and neighbouring countries.” 8 One of the tasks of the U.S.-Mexico Border Surveillance Commission is to establish a system for collecting health data and monitoring health problems in the U.S.-Mexico border area. The PPS, launched on March 23, 2005 by the leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada, provides for a “healthier North America.” In line with this objective, PPS efforts include enhanced information-sharing mechanisms, the development of mutual legal assistance protocols, the implementation by the United States and Mexico of guidelines developed by the Health and Mexico Working Group for the coordination of common-interest epidemiological events by the United States and Mexico, and the implementation of an infectious disease surveillance system (EWIDS). For the latter element, DHS 20 border states and Mexico allocate funds for the development of EWIDS systems in conjunction with cross-border provinces or states in Canada and Mexico respectively. International mutual aid is also common in border communities in places such as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and others.