The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative places a great deal of importance on receiving the input and advice of state and local government representatives in formulating U.S. trade policy. With the Congress’ passage of the NAFTA in 1993, and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act in 1994, which implements WTO obligations in the United States, the United States created expanded consultative procedures between federal trade officials and state and local governments.
State Point of Contact System
For day-to-day communications, pursuant to the NAFTA and Uruguay Round implementing legislation and Statements of Administrative Action, USTR created a State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) system. The Governor’s office in each State designates a single contact point to disseminate information received from USTR to relevant state and local offices, and assist in relaying specific information and advice from the states to USTR on trade-related matters. The SPOC network ensures that state governments are promptly informed of Administration trade initiatives so their companies and workers may take full advantage of increased foreign market access and reduced trade barriers. It also enables USTR to consult with states and localities directly on trade matters which affect them. SPOCs regularly receive USTR press releases, Federal Register notices, and other pertinent information.
Click here for the State Point of Contact list
Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee
For advice from states and localities on trade policy matters, USTR has established an Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade (IGPAC). The IGPAC has broad representation from state and local officials from all three branches of government, as well as state and local associations and regulators. As with other USTR advisory committees, IGPAC members must obtain a security clearance, and the committee provides input and advice to the USTR on the United States’ trade agenda on an ongoing basis, focusing on issues of particular interest to states and localities. Under the Trade Act of 2002, upon the conclusion of negotiations for trade agreements, the IGPAC and other advisory committees issue advisory reports to the President, USTR, and Congress on the trade agreement, available on USTR’s website.
Click here for the IGPAC committee list
Meetings with State and Local Officials and Associations
USTR officials also meet with state and local officials and associations upon request,and address regular meetings of state officials in Washington, D.C. and around the country. Recent examples include meetings of the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Attorneys General, Council of State Governments, National Association of Foreign Trade Zones, Midwest International Trade Association, North Carolina’s National Forum on Trade Policy, Utah’s International Trade Week, and others.