CSG Midwest
Even without a new Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S. agriculture producers have deep ties to the 11 other countries involved in the potentially historic new trade deal.
About 45 percent of the nation’s farm exports already have these nations as their destination, and as the U.S. Congress decides whether to approve the TPP, one of the deciding factors could be this: Will this deal open up key foreign markets even further, for the benefit of the nation’s farmers and ranchers?

State-supported export promotion and foreign direct investments are now a key ingredient to state economic development strategies as state leaders recognize the importance of global markets in the creation of domestic jobs. States support international trade and investment by maintaining or contracting for overseas international trade offices that promote the state’s trade interests and facilitate trade and investment with potential international partners.1 The number of state overseas trade offices has fluctuated over the years.

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. State trade offices are taking the lead to ensure that small businesses know how to take advantage of the opportunities that this agreement brings.

CSG Midwest
The NEXUS trusted-traveler initiative is helping people travel more seamlessly between the United States and Canada, but policy experts say program enrollment has been hampered by an inconvenient, unclear application process. Once accepted into the program, NEXUS members use designated lanes at land borders (and machines at airports) that speed their entry process. These travelers have a NEXUS card that can be scanned to retrieve all of the relevant personal data needed by a border inspector.

According to research from the Department of Commerce by Jeffrey Hall and Chris Rasmussen, goods exports (manufactured products, agricultural products, natural resources and used/second-hand products) supported 7.1 million jobs in 2014 – up one million jobs, or 16.4 percent, over 2009 levels. In 2014, export-supported jobs made up 5.1 percent of total employment. The importance of goods exports to states, however, varies significantly. In Alaska and Washington for example, goods exports support more than one out of ten jobs. In 16 states, exports support 3 percent or less of total employment. From 2009 to 2014, exports have become even more important to job growth. Over this period, the number of jobs supported by exports grew in all but seven states. 


During much of the past year, the White House has been engaged in an ambitious foreign policy agenda that includes restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, finalizing a nuclear deal with Iran and negotiating a free-trade agreement with 11 countries along the Pacific Rim. In December 2014, President Obama announced he would re-establish diplomatic ties with Raul Castro’s Cuba. Six months later, Obama announced that the U.S. had reached an unprecedented multilateral agreement that would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. In the next few months, the Obama administration is expected to finalize one of the largest free-trade agreements ever concluded. Following is a roundup of the administration’s recent foreign policy activities in each of these areas and what it means for states.

In May, the World Trade Organization found country-of-origin labeling requirements, often referred to as COOL requirements, in the United States to be inconsistent with its international obligations. If Congress fails to repeal these requirements, Canada or Mexico may enact retaliatory trade actions valued at more than $3 billion against various companies across all 50 states.  Read more HERE.

Access to export capital continues to be one of the largest barriers for American small business exporters. While the federal government does have successful programs for helping small businesses find the financing necessary to become exporters, another potential Congressional roadblock is showing the importance of state programs to keep goods moving. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, also known as the EX-IM Bank, is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The bank’s mission is to support American jobs by facilitating exports of domestic goods and services through direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital and export credit insurance

More than 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power resides outside the United States—that’s a lot of customers for U.S. businesses. More than one in five American jobs—38.1 million—depend on international trade. In addition, foreign-owned companies employ 5.3 million Americans.
Looking to the global marketplace for economic development and paying attention to export and import trends is no longer an option for state policymakers—it is a necessity.