Resolution on Strengthening the Role of States in Promoting International Trade and Negotiating International Trade Agreements

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WHEREAS, international trade and foreign investment are major contributors to the United States economy and help support millions of good-paying jobs throughout state and local communities; and

WHEREAS, U.S. exports account for nearly 13 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and support an estimated 11.5 million jobs; and

WHEREAS, the United States remained the top destination for foreign investment, attracting more than $3.1 trillion in 2015, which helped support more than 6.4 million jobs; and

WHEREAS, state international trade offices play a key role in assisting businesses in exporting their products and services, and help attract investment into their respective state; and

WHEREAS, the State Trade and Expansion Promotion (STEP) is vital for the state’s mission to help small businesses start or increase their exports, and to be more competitive in the global market; and 

WHEREAS, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has the authority to negotiate international trade agreements on behalf of the United States, and those negotiations can have a major impact on American businesses; and

WHEREAS, state international trade offices play a key role in gathering and communicating trade policy concerns on behalf of their businesses to the federal government.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the federal government to support a strong state-federal partnership in promoting U.S. exports, attracting foreign investment, and negotiating international trade agreements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports continued funding for the STEP program for eligible states and territories, and pledges to work with the federal government on opportunities to strengthen the role of state in negotiating international trade agreements.

Adopted by The Council of State Governments’ Executive Committee this 16th Day of December, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.