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Contact: Wendell Hannaford, ERC Director, whannaford@csg.org;
David Biette, ERC Deputy Director, dbiette@csg.org
Aug. 16, 2017

CSG-ERC Wants States, Canadian Provinces Included
in NAFTA Negotiations

UNCASVILLE, Conn.—The Council of State Governments-Eastern Regional Conference is asking the federal governments of the United States and Canada to include states and provinces in the discussion of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The CSG-ERC Executive Committee today passed a resolution seeking input as the federal governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico begin negotiating an update to NAFTA.
“The federal governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico negotiate these agreements, but the impact is felt in the economies of the states and cities therein,” ERC Co-Chairs Sen. Terry Gerratana and Rep. Kevin Ryan, both of Connecticut, said in a joint statement. “We believe it is important for the negotiation teams to listen to the voices of state leaders about that impact.”
The resolution was recommended by the CSG-ERC’s U.S.-Canada Relations Committee, which met earlier this week during the CSG-ERC 57th Annual Meeting and Regional Policy Forum in Uncasville, Connecticut. The committee is chaired jointly by representatives from the United States and Canada. 
Guy Ouellette, a member of the Quebec National Assembly and co-chair of the committee, sponsored the resolution.
“The resolution aims first at stating the importance of free trade to our economy,” said Ouellette. “But it is important that the direction of the negotiations make this agreement a 21st century agreement.”
The CSG-ERC U.S.-Canada Relations Committee, which meets annually to discuss issues affecting cross-border issues, also stressed the importance of a forward-thinking agreement. While there are immediate concerns being addressed, the committee said it is also useful to look 20 years out and ask the question of where the nations need to be with regard to trade at that time.
“We need to envision where the jobs of the future will be to ensure that not only will we have jobs for our citizens but also that our citizens are prepared for those jobs,” Gerratana and Ryan said.
The resolution expresses a unity in voice from the 11 Northeastern states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Canadian Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. It will be forwarded to state and federal officials.

About The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.