Vital Moreira, a member of the European Parliament and chairman of its Committee on International Trade, shares his thoughts on what the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would mean to Europe and the United States. This 12-nation agreement with the trans-Pacific region and with the European Union is one of the trade deals on the table.

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February 2014 marks the three-year anniversary of a joint U.S.-Canada effort to reduce unnecessary regulatory differences that raise the cost of doing business across the border — and can raise prices for consumers as well. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper created the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council to guide bilateral work to streamline and harmonize regulations. The council works toward mutual acceptance of each other’s standards when harmonization is not possible, and seeks other ways to simplify the cross-border regulatory process, such as recognizing common testing procedures and enforcement.
For many years, the livestock industry in Canada and the U.S., especially for cattle and pigs, has been integrated, with animals moving both ways across the border for feeding and slaughter. But new U.S. country-of-origin labeling requirements may change this relationship. 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges reauthorization of the STEP grant pilot program beyond 2014; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges expanded authorization past FY 2013-2014 for continued funding of the STEP program for eligible states and territories.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that CSG requests that the U.S. Congress implement a legislative solution that will facilitate the efficient operation of the integrated regional livestock industry, rather than implement additional regulations and requirements for meat producers and processors.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments recognizes that the New International Trade Crossing is vital to ensuring the ongoing viability of existing trade between the United States and Canada and will lay the foundation for future productivity, growth and economic stability of local economies across the Midwest.

Stateline Midwest ~ 2013 MLC Annual Meeting Edition

The relationship between Canada and the Midwest is based not only on imports and exports of finished goods, but also on making things together. This was the message delivered in July to the Midwestern Legislative Conference’s Midwest-Canada Relations Committee by Laura Dawson, the president of an Ottawa-based consulting firm.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on July 3rd, 2013 that total May exports of $187.1 billion and imports of $232.1 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $45.0 billion, up from $40.1 billion (+12%) in April 2013. Overall, the trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $501.2 billion, 6.3% lower than last year.

The trade deficit of $45 billion in May was the largest trade gap since November....

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.

Over the past decade as the Chinese market became more and more open, several U.S. states have seen their exports to the country grow by leaps and bounds. These states are now pushing to further increase the amount of exports to China. A recent Stateline article highlights the efforts of three states: California, Washington, and Iowa.