CSG Midwest
Within days after a World Trade Organization decision in December authorizing substantial retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico, the long-simmering trade dispute over country-of-origin labeling ended.
After several years of discussion that produced no solution, the U.S. Congress and the Department of Agriculture responded to the ruling by abolishing the labeling requirement.

CSG Director of Federal Affairs Andy Karellas outlines the top five issues in federal affairs policy for 2016, including fiscal uncertainty, federal regulations and intergovernmental coordination, unfunded mandates, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. 

CSG Director of Federal Affairs Andy Karellas outlines the top five issues in international policy for 2016, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), export promotion and economic development, global cybersecurity, attracting foreign investment, and global humanitarian crisis.

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.

As the United States' economy gains momentum, state leaders are focused on answering a few key questions. How can the U.S. sustain that momentum? Where should we place our bets and invest our resources to create long-term pathways to prosperity? This session brought together experts from government, academia and the private sector to discuss how best to collaborate in developing a long-term strategy to grow the economy and create quality jobs. Attendees also heard a fiscal and economic forecast for 2016 and received a briefing on the status of international trade agreements.

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 U.S. recently concluded a free trade agreement with countries along the Pacific Rim. It’s the largest and most ambitious free trade agreement of its kind and is estimated to generate thousands of new jobs in America.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a multilateral trade agreement with 11 other nations: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. 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.

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.

Research institutions are a key ingredient to innovation and long-term economic growth, and the United States has a long history of being a global leader.

CSG Midwest

In the final weeks of this year’s legislative session, Minnesota Rep. Bob Barrett worked successfully to secure $100,000 in state funds for a city in his home district. The money, which came from an existing economic development program, aims to help the city lower taxes and be more competitive within the state, as well as with neighboring Wisconsin. But as Barrett’s appropriations request made its way to final passage, he had to answer questions from colleagues. What will prevent you, the Minnesota Senate chair asked Barrett during conference committee, from coming back next year and requesting even more money? “If this money doesn’t do what it’s intended to do, then I won’t be coming back,” Barrett told fellow legislators. “But if it works, and we [create] new jobs, new businesses, new property taxes in my area, that would be telling you that it was money well spent, and I will be coming back and asking for more.”

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