As the world becomes more interconnected, state leaders continue to play a larger role in international affairs – both by identifying opportunities to grow their economy through international trade and monitoring the geopolitics to ensure the health and safety of their citizens. In Washington, DC, states will be watching Congress to see if they act on President Obama’s top priority on his trade agenda – the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, or the TPP. The TPP agreement between 11 nations would be one of the largest agreements on history, covering over 800 million consumers and 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. It is important that state leaders review and understand the proposed agreement and voice their thoughts with Congress and federal agencies.
Civics education stands at the core of what it takes to equip citizens with the knowledge and willingness to become community, state, national and international leaders. Without such civic fundamentals, the youth of today may not vote or run for public office tomorrow, and the future participation of citizens in America’s grand democratic experiment is called into question. As part of CSG’s ongoing work to explore the challenges of federalism, this session featured experts and policymakers to discuss how states are teaching future generations about the role of state and federal governments and civic engagement.
It’s not a matter of whether or not a cybersecurity breach—affecting either a private or public institution—will happen, but when. Experts warn that both the frequency of cybersecurity threats and their level of sophistication will continue to increase, and state leaders need to know what they are facing. This session explored what state leaders need to know about cybersecurity threats to make informed decisions, anticipate challenges, share information, and define roles and responsibilities.
Many state leaders participate in international trips, education exchanges and foreign delegations in their states and districts. Understanding the proper protocol to guide interactions with foreign visitors is key to overcoming intercultural communications barriers and building relationships with overseas contacts. During this session, experts discussed the proper protocol for meeting with foreign delegations, including proper greeting and business card exchanges and how to conduct business meetings and other events.
The United States and 11 other nations announced in October that they had reached an agreement on the multilateral trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. These nations collectively have a market size of nearly 800 million consumers and account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Exports of U.S. goods to TPP nations totaled $698 billion in 2013, or about 45 percent of total U.S. exports, and a finalized deal would yield even greater trade with TPP countries. A 2012 analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimated that a TPP agreement could generate nearly $124 billion in new U.S. exports to those nations. During this session, experts from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the United States Department of Commerce discussed the details of the TPP agreement and what it means for your state.
Andy Karellas, CSG's Director of Federal Affairs, outlines the top five issues in federal affairs policy for 2015, including unfunded mandates, pre-emption, international trade agreements, intergovernmental coordination, and the discontinuation by the U.S. Census Bureau of the Consolidated Federal Funds Report.
As state leaders outline their strategies and goals for 2015, they are keeping a close watch on the actions of the federal government and how such policies will impact their respective state. Such federal actions – whether in the form of federal funds, congressional legislation, executive orders, and regulations – can dramatically influence the direction and overall strategy of the state. With nearly one third of state funds appropriated from the federal government, many state programs are dependent on a consistent source of funds. This close relationship between the federal government and states has grown more complex in recent years, leaving less certainty about the roles and responsibilities of each respective government.
Public education in the U.S. was established with a vitally important civic mission—to prepare each generation for informed and engaged citizenship. As part of CSG’s ongoing work exploring the history and current challenges of federalism, this session took a step back and explored how we are teaching future generations about government and civic participation.
America’s economic engine is fueled by intellectual property rights, which drive innovation and protect consumers. Innovative and creative companies perform better and contribute more to local economies than their counterparts. The direct and indirect economic impacts account for more than 40 percent of U.S. economic growth and employment, 40 million American jobs, 30 percent higher wages and 74 percent of total exports. This session highlighted the latest developments in intellectual property and how they affect your state.
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) a bipartisan, bicameral bill that was the result of months of negotiations between House and Senate leaders. The bill, which received wide support (415 to 6), will modernize and improve the federal workforce development programs aimed at helping workers attain the skills needed for 21st century jobs. The legislation recently passed through the U.S. Senate with overwhelming support (95 to 3, with 2 no votes) and now awaits the President’s signature.