Key Points
  • Final ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA)
  • Final negotiation of a high standard Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement.
  • Ensuring that future agreements contain strong intellectual property provisions and omit protectionist measures such as trade agreement carve outs.

International trade creates and supports millions of American jobs that offer higher than average wages and drive economic growth. As a testament to the strength of American entrepreneurship, the vast majority of U.S. exporters are not large corporations but small to medium-sized enterprises. Those that doubt the power of global free markets need only observe America’s trading partners who are accelerating the negotiation of trade frameworks underscoring that if the United States does not proactively participate in the global marketplace we risk being left behind.

The states are the clear economic winners and stakeholders in international commerce. From Alaska’s marine products to Iowa’s grains and oilseeds to Florida’s aerospace products and parts, the states are in the business of exports! And while the link between exports and growth is obvious, American families also benefit from imports that make the products they buy every day more affordable as well as from job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI). Many of the overseas companies employing American workers provide unparalleled training opportunities for the manufacturing jobs of the future.

One of the surest ways to expand U.S. market access is through the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs) as FTA partners buy more American goods per capita than non-FTA partners. Tariffs and other impediments to seamless commerce act as discriminatory taxes which limit and restrict companies that export to other nations. A carefully drafted FTA whether bilateral or multilateral eliminates tariffs and other non-tariff barriers to trade among FTA partners resulting in a mutually beneficial economic relationship.

One of the most consequential agreements is the not yet ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which has high standard intellectual property (IP) provisions and brings NAFTA into the 21st century. ALEC model policy supporting speedy congressional approval of USMCA can be found here.

Free markets are a job creation engine that spurs economic growth, but there is also a strategic aspect to U.S. trade policy. Trade frameworks often serve as non-military strategic footprints in significant regions around the globe. One of the great examples of American exceptionalism was our creation in the years following World War II of the structures that still govern international trade. To this day, these institutions help to promote free markets and protect innovation and nations around the world welcome U.S.  economic partnership. Unilaterally forfeiting America’s role in the global trade sphere would exact unacceptable economic and strategic costs. There is no guarantee that the nation or nations that fill the leadership vacuum we leave will promote free markets as strongly as the United States.

Learn More About ALEC Work on International Trade

Model Policies

+ All International Trade Model Policies

Task Forces

Federalism and International Relations

State legislators and their constituents are stakeholders in many of the most important national and international issues of the day.

Press Releases

+ All International Trade Press Releases