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GOP Craig Thomas and Dem William Jefferson on trade

New Hampshire Joins the Chorus

Check out another state resolution that raises concerns about state compliance with the non-trade rules contained in recent trade agreements. Last Friday, the New Hampshire Senate and House passed a resolution urging Congress to "exempt New Hampshire from new General Agreement on Trade in Services offers unless explicitly granted authority to include the state in such offers." More broadly, the resolution calls for federal trade negotiators to respect the traditional boundaries of state regulatory authority by obtaining state's explicit permission before signing them up to trade deals. From the American Friends Service Committee press release (PDF):

"The arcane language of trade provisions covering investment, government procurement, and regulation of the service sector takes a direct aim at areas which have historically been under the authority of the state and local governments," said Rep. Susi Nord of Candia, who also sits on her town's Planning Board. “We are telling the trade negotiators not to agree to provisions which affect our state unless we tell you to."

New Hampshire is also planning to create a Citizen Advisory Commission that would look at the wide-ranging impacts of trade agreements on the state, modeled after similar oversight commissions in other states such as the one in Maine.

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