Trade agreements are about fairness, not regulation. Generally speaking, you are saying that rules or standards imposed by governments should not discriminate against U.S. and foreign suppliers of goods and services. Trade agreements do not limit a state`s right to regulate and do not automatically prevent, invalidate, or overturn state laws. Nothing in a trade agreement prevents the United States or any state from legislating, amending, or fully enforcing national laws. And the international bodies that have been created to investigate disputes over trade agreements do not have the power to change U.S. law or require a state or local government to change their laws or decisions. Only federal or regional governments can amend a federal or regional law. Trade agreements encourage foreign governments to adopt the type of open and transparent regulatory procedures and non-discriminatory laws and rules, which are the hallmark of an ordinary procedure in the United States and are in effect at all levels of government in the United States.
At the same time, the United States remains very sensitive to any agreement we negotiate and protect our federal system of shared power. It is important to understand what trade agreements do and do not do. Click here for a trade fact sheet on state sovereignty and trade agreements….