Trade: State and Local Governance

Starting with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the mid-90s, international "trade" agreement provisions began invading traditional state policy space - delving deeply into matters of state law.

Today, U.S. trade agreements contain numerous non-trade policy obligations and regulatory constraints to which U.S. federal, state, and local governments are bound to conform their domestic policies.

These "trade" agreements are shifting an ever-increasing number of issues away from local decision-making bodies and into inaccessible foreign venues where few citizens or elected officials can follow.

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