The Stafford Act provides an abbreviated opportunity to obtain congressional approval on intergovernmental agreements. Congressional approval is deemed granted 60 days after the transfer of an intergovernmental agreement to the two houses. The rejection or revocation of approval by Congress is permitted at any time.23 The U.S. Constitution provides that “no state without congressional approval … . To make an agreement or a pact with another state or with a foreign power. (Table 3▶).18 This provision clearly impairs the legal capacity of states to enter into mutual assistance agreements with each other or with Mexican states or Canadian provinces. An obvious method of compliance is the creation of cooperation agreements that would not constitute “agreements or pacts” within the meaning of the constitutional prohibition. If they have powers under their own laws, states are free to enter into “non-binding” agreements beyond their borders. The guidelines for coordination between the United States and Mexico on epidemiological events of common interest are not binding and serve as an example for this type of approach.19 Non-binding agreements can be useful to states, especially when they are interested in the exchange of information. In addition to the types of assistance that were put in place by Hurricane Katrina (staff, the exchange of epidemiological or laboratory information and specialized personnel across interstate and international borders may be essential in detecting and controlling future outbreaks of infectious diseases, whether natural (for example.

B, the onset of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 or the risk of H5N1 flu, or as a result of a bioterrorist attack. States must therefore have agreements to provide mutual assistance in all its forms, in order to facilitate an effective response to disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to detect and control potential outbreaks of infectious diseases before they become disasters. Although the Foreign Office recommends congressional approval of binding agreements as the safest legal means, the Office has been consulted on general guidelines indicating that prosecutors can enter into binding agreements that raise fewer constitutional doubts. While it must first be noted that the proposed agreement would not be contrary to a federal initiative, this does not appear to be a problem, given the State`s promotion of the state`s mutual assistance agreements by the Confederation. In addition, particularly with a view to an international agreement, it may be advisable that such an agreement contains a language confirming that the state is bound by its own federal laws and laws, that there is no intention to create binding international law, that a state may withdraw from the agreement at any time and that the agreement should not be interpreted as interference with the federal authority24.24 Mutual Assistance Agreements (MAA) and other types of assistance agreements before , during and after an emergency event facilitate the rapid mobilization of personnel, equipment and supplies. Agreements can be concluded at several levels: between public and local authorities; between a state and localities in the state; between two or more states in a region; between states and tribes; internationally between states and neighbouring jurisdictions in Canada or Mexico.