ALEC State Chair Rep. Tan Parker Tells Us Why USMCA Is a Win for Texas … And a Win for the Rest of the Nation
While state lawmakers do not have jurisdiction over the negotiation of trade agreements, they are the ultimate stakeholders. A high standard agreement can economically invigorate a struggling region while even good agreements have the potential to contribute to a community’s demise. Although arcane and complex, it is important for America’s state lawmakers to understand national trade policy.
ALEC has a long history of educating members about international commerce. A strong understanding of national policy over a wide range of issue areas provides lawmakers, including those at the state and local levels, the foundation they need to be more effective legislators and better citizens. As the roster of ALEC Congressional Alumni which can be accessed here illustrates, many state lawmakers go on to become national lawmakers. ALEC provides forums where state legislators can acquire a comprehensive understanding of trade frameworks and the provisions contained in them thus readying them for the decisions they will need to make if they aspire to work at the federal level.
Mastery of the concepts underpinning international trade sometimes leads them to develop model policy. Two model policies related to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and can be found here and here. The first applauds the framework’s strong intellectual property chapter – the strongest of any agreement in existence today. The second is a call by the states for congressional approval of USMCA.
Understanding an issue can also compel a state lawmaker, like Rep. Tan Parker of Texas, to speak out on a topic that has consequences for his state. Rep. Parker, an ALEC State Chair, authored an excellent op-Ed “USMCA is a win for Texas and America” that appeared this week in the San Antonio News-Express. Read his take on USMCA here.