Federalism and International Relations

Task Force Description

State legislators and their constituents are stakeholders in many of the most important national and international issues of the day. The members of the Federalism and International Relations Task Force believe in the power of free markets and limited government to propel economic growth in the United States and around the globe, and that these guiding principles are just as relevant overseas as they are in America. The Task Force brings together state legislators, policy experts and industry representatives to develop model policy to increase exports, safeguard intellectual property rights, promote the nation’s security, and restore the Constitutionally-designated balance of power between the states and the federal government.

The Task Force has considered and adopted model policy on the very initiatives that grow the U.S. economy, create American jobs and unleash the innovative policy-making capacity of all 50 states. Model policy to address the finalization of a truly free-market Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as  leverage America’s growing ability to export domestically produced energy are among those in the International policy portfolio. However, American ingenuity and the intellectual property (IP) underpinning it are the engines driving U.S. economic growth. Underscoring the important role that strong IP rights play in creating high-paying American jobs and spurring America’s innovation economy round out the Task Force’s International model policy library.

Real solutions to America’s challenges can be found in the states – America’s fifty laboratories of democracy – not in one-size-fits-all federal government policies that disregard regional differences and local community needs. The nation has drifted away from our Founding Fathers’ vision by concentrating more power with national government structures. Overregulation and redundant bureaucracy that hinder economic growth, a ballooning national debt that threatens our nation’s security, and federal mismanagement of our country’s most precious resource – the lands within America’s borders – have been the consequences of this federal overreach. The Task Force has adopted model policy supporting the use of Article V of the U.S. Constitution as a tool to restore appropriate control to the states including the proposal of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ALEC has established the Center to Restore the Balance of Government to serve as a resource to state on setting priorities on state sovereignty issues and to provide the tools lawmakers need to champion policies that lead to state control over state issues.

This unique partnership between those interested in international issues and those whose primary focus is federalism has served Task Force members and the model policy adopted in the Task Force well. Our models are discussed at the highest levels of U.S. federal and state governments, and foreign governments and international bodies are familiar with ALEC model policy related to their regions.

In order to capitalize on the specialized knowledge of the Task Force members we have formed three subcommittees: Federalism, Intellectual Property and National Security. Subcommittee Chairs are specialists in their respective disciplines having worked on these issues within their legislatures and/or in their careers outside the legislature.

Meeting Information

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All Model Policies

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