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H.J.R. 1

             1     

RESOLUTION ADDRESSING INTERNATIONAL

             2     
TRADE ISSUES

             3     
2008 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: Sheryl L. Allen

             6     
Senate Sponsor: Mark B. Madsen

             7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      Committee Note:
             10          The Utah International Trade Commission recommended this bill.
             11              Membership:    8 legislators    3 non-legislators
             12              Legislative Vote:    6 voting for    0 voting against    2 absent
             13      General Description:
             14          This joint resolution of the Legislature suggests methods for consideration of issues
             15      pertaining to state sovereignty raised by international trade agreements of the United
             16      States.
             17      Highlighted Provisions:
             18          This resolution:
             19          .    suggests provisions that should be included in and excluded from international trade
             20      agreements; and
             21          .    proposes other provisions related to the United States' process for negotiating,
             22      ratifying, and litigating international trade agreements.
             23      Special Clauses:
             24          None
             25     
             26      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          WHEREAS, international trade with Utah represents a growing portion of the state's


             28      economy and is beneficial to the state's economy;
             29          WHEREAS, the United States, through the United States Trade Representative is
             30      negotiating and otherwise pursuing additional international trade agreements to expand
             31      international trade and investment opportunities;
             32          WHEREAS, provisions in some international trade agreements undermine Utah's
             33      sovereignty by allowing the United States to effectively establish law and policy for Utah;
             34          WHEREAS, an inclusive list of commitments that does not clearly identify each
             35      commitment included in the international trade agreement may allow unintentional inclusion of
             36      certain commitments, such as gambling, in the international trade agreement;
             37          WHEREAS, the impact on Utah of a potential international trade agreement is unclear
             38      while the international trade agreement is being negotiated;
             39          WHEREAS, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been interpreted to provide
             40      foreign investors greater procedural rights than United States investors;
             41          WHEREAS, state law may be subject to challenge under international trade
             42      agreements;
             43          WHEREAS, the United States may seek to retaliate, including by withholding federal
             44      funds, if a Utah law is successfully challenged under an international trade agreement and Utah
             45      refuses to repeal the law;
             46          WHEREAS, Utah and other states do not have an effective and thorough method of
             47      communication with the United States Trade Representative;
             48          WHEREAS, communication with the United States Trade Representative is necessary
             49      to inform the United States Trade Representative of state concerns with proposed and existing
             50      international trade agreements;
             51          WHEREAS, some trade agreements govern state procurement processes in a manner
             52      that may not allow local purchasing preferences and other valid policy choices; and
             53          WHEREAS, the United States Trade Representative seeks to expand covered services
             54      in international trade agreements, including higher education and some professional licensing
             55      in ways that could impact Utah's ability to regulate these services:
             56          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:
             57          (1) the United States Trade Representative should:
             58          (a) ensure that international trade agreements:


             59          (i) protect state lawmaking authority;
             60          (ii) exclude existing state laws from commitments made in the agreement;
             61          (iii) list every commitment to be included in the agreement to ensure that commitments
             62      are not inadvertently made;
             63          (iv) contain provisions specifically allowing states to adjust commitments to which the
             64      state may be held;
             65          (v) allow foreign investors no greater rights, either procedural or substantive, than
             66      those enjoyed by United States investors;
             67          (vi) allow states to use procurement policies to further valid public interests; and
             68          (vii) expand the services covered in international trade agreements in a manner that
             69      does not impact Utah's ability to regulate domestic industries and protect the public interest;
             70          (b) establish an effective consultation mechanism for the states, including the
             71      establishment of a formal and permanent body with resources to monitor and develop positions
             72      on international trade matters of concern to the states; and
             73          (c) provide economic and noneconomic impact projections to states while an
             74      international trade agreement is being negotiated.
             75          (2) Congress should ensure that:
             76          (a) the United States vigorously defends any state law that is subjected to challenge
             77      using the provisions of an international trade agreement;
             78          (b) a state that participates in the defense of a state law subjected to challenge using the
             79      provisions of an international trade agreement is reimbursed by the United States for the cost of
             80      defending the law; and
             81          (c) the United States not retaliate against a state, including by withholding funds, if a
             82      state law violates an international trade agreement and the state elects to continue enforcing the
             83      law.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 11-16-07 11:21 AM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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