Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session

Chapter 385

H.P. 876 - L.D. 1257

An Act To Require Legislative Consultation and Approval Prior to Committing the State to Binding International Trade Agreements

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 10 MRSA 13 is enacted to read:

13. Legislative approval of trade agreements

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Commission" means the Citizen Trade Policy Commission established in Title 5, section 12004-I, subsection 79-A.
B. "Trade agreement" means an agreement reached between the United States Government and any other country, countries or other international political entity or entities that proposes to regulate trade, procurement, services or investment among the parties to the agreement. "Trade agreement" includes, but is not limited to, any agreements under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, all regional free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central America Free Trade Agreement and all bilateral agreements entered into by the United States, as well as requests for binding agreement received from the United States Trade Representative.
2. State official prohibited from binding the State. If the United States Government provides the State with the opportunity to consent to or reject binding the State to a trade agreement, or a provision within a trade agreement, then an official of the State, including but not limited to the Governor, may not bind the State or give consent to the United States Government to bind the State in those circumstances, except as provided in this section.
3. Receipt of request for trade agreement. When a communication from the United States Trade Representative concerning a trade agreement provision is received by the State, the Governor shall submit a copy of the communication and the proposed trade agreement, or relevant provisions of the trade agreement, to the chairs of the commission, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Maine International Trade Center and the joint standing committees of the Legislature having jurisdiction over state and local government matters and business, research and economic development matters.
4. Review by commission. The commission, in consultation with the Maine International Trade Center, shall review and analyze the trade agreement and issue a report on the potential impact on the State of agreeing to be bound by the trade agreement, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the Legislature and the Governor.
5. Legislative approval of trade agreement required. Unless the Legislature by proper enactment of a law authorizes the Governor or another official of the State to enter into the specific proposed trade agreement, the State may not be bound by that trade agreement.

Effective September 12, 2009

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333