Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have already been active in demanding a new direction on trade (see here, here and here) and are now banding together to call for better federal consultation with states on trade issues. In a meeting in Portsmouth, the three states' commissions on international trade met to discuss how these "trade" agreement undermine state regulatory authority.
State Senator Jackie Cilley (D-N.H.) explained to the Sun Journal:
"Whether its managing groundwater permits, regulating unsafe toys or using our tax dollars to buy products made in the state, international trade rules can make it harder for us to represent our constituents."
State Senator Virginia Lyons (D-VT) echoes these concerns:
"Free trade agreements are to state sovereignty and economic development what global climate change is to the environment and natural resources. I think it's a really significant issue for our state, and for every state in the country."
As the article points out, many state legislators have been concerned about this issue and the National Conference of State Legislatures passed a new policy position on "Free Trade" and Federalism in August, reflecting the need for reformed trade policies and more consultation with states on trade agreements.