International Trade and Development

International trade has become a global reality that affects every American business, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations. The smooth flow of legitimate trade and travel across borders is instrumental in creating and maintaining jobs and strengthening the supply chain between states and nations. The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is the largest of its kind and represented $918 billion in total goods trade for the U.S. in 2010. In this session, senior officials from the NAFTA countries will discuss the agreement, the challenges and opportunities it represents, and the future of trade in North America.

International trade has become a global reality that affects every American business, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations. The smooth flow of legitimate trade and travel across borders is instrumental in creating and maintaining jobs and strengthening the supply chain between states and nations. The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is the largest of its kind and represented $918 billion in total goods trade for the U.S. in 2010. In this session, senior officials from the NAFTA countries will discuss the agreement, the challenges and opportunities it represents, and the future of trade in North America.

International trade has become a global reality that affects every American business, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations. The smooth flow of legitimate trade and travel across borders is instrumental in creating and maintaining jobs and strengthening the supply chain between states and nations. The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is the largest of its kind and represented $918 billion in total goods trade for the U.S. in 2010. In this session, senior officials from the NAFTA countries will discuss the agreement, the challenges and opportunities it represents, and the future of trade in North America.

The transportation systems of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are tied together in myriad ways and support hundreds of billions of dollars in commerce. Each nation faces its own unique challenges in the years ahead to ensure those systems continue to allow them to remain competitive in the global economy. This session examined how each country is addressing those challenges and what innovative ideas to improve transportation are worth examining elsewhere in North America.

The Council of State Governments recently hosted the 2011 National Conference and North American Summit from October 19-23 in Bellevue Washington.  The meeting provided state leaders with a robust agenda structured to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing state governments.   It marked the first time any national association of state leaders has hosted a North American Summit, welcoming leaders from Canada and Mexico to disucess the future of our region.

In a global economy, companies have to be the best to compete, and not just in the U.S., or even just in North America.  Jason Meyers, a commentator on economics from Canada, told state leaders that the three North American countries should work together for long-range success.

Trade among the three countries of North America has tripled since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect 17 years ago.  That robust increase, however, belies some of the obstacles to cross-border trade in the continent, with inadequate or antiquated infrastructure near the top of the list of concerns of businesses and governments.

The North American Free Trade Agreement is not about trade and the U.S., Canada and Mexico do not constitute a trading bloc.  That’s the one point Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Canada, wanted attendees at The Council of State Governments 2011 National Conference and North American Summit to take away. He spoke at the Saturday, Oct. 22, session, “Beyond NAFTA.”

International trade has become a global reality that affects every American business, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations. The smooth flow of legitimate trade and travel across borders is instrumental in creating and maintaining jobs and strengthening the supply chain between states and nations. The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is the largest of its kind and represented $918 billion in total goods trade for the U.S. in 2010. In this session, senior officials from the NAFTA countries will discuss the agreement, the challenges and opportunities it represents, and the future of trade in North America.

In today’s global economy, state leaders must look beyond traditional borders in seeking solutions to shared challenges in North America.  CSG is committed to providing state leaders with a practical understanding of the local impacts of global trends.  In addition to hearing from leaders about issues impacting North American states and provinces, participants learned about existing cooperative working relationships between state legislators and their counterparts in neighboring Canadian provinces and Mexican states.  

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