Rep. Roy Takumi is featured in the July/August issue of Capitol Ideas, the magazine published by the Council of State Governments.
Trade Deals Get More Attention Due to NAFTA
The way Hawaii Rep. Roy Takumi sees it, states didn’t pay close attention to the impact free trade agreements would have on state policies in the 1990s, when Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA.
They’re paying attention now.
“As (free trade agreements) started to proliferate, legislators, including myself, became more aware of how these trade agreements went beyond international trade and encroached into what (were) matters that states and only states historically dealt with,” Takumi said. That includes procurement, investment and service policies.
As Congress considers additional trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, state policymakers are taking action and making their concerns known. That includes what they perceive as lost jobs.
But Takumi and others say it goes well beyond that.
“In every (free trade agreement), there may be sections that are benefits and others that are not,” he said. “Or it could be beneficial/negative to some states and not to others.”