Foreign Policy Goes Local ; State Capitals Are Adopting Their Own International Relations and Trade

By Scott Baldauf, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 24, 1999 | Go to article overview

Foreign Policy Goes Local ; State Capitals Are Adopting Their Own International Relations and Trade


Scott Baldauf, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In the US Supreme Court, Massachusetts is defending a state law that bans trade with the nation of Burma.

In Arizona, Gov. Jane Hull is hoping to test a new temporary work visa for Mexican laborers.

And here in Texas, state leaders have stepped up regular meetings with officials of the four Mexican states along Texas's border, to turn the border region into a single economic entity.

From one coast to the other, America's states are increasingly acting like the Greek city-states of antiquity, determining their own foreign policy and routes of trade. And like modern-day Spartas, their behavior is being driven by a less-centralized notion of "nation" at home, as well as a broader view of the world and its economic forces.

This new brand of federalism has its detractors, who see a state- by-state approach to trade policies as a hardship for business. But with globalization creating greater competition worldwide, and courts so far endorsing the trend, it's only going to continue, experts say.

In the very long term, "it's now possible to imagine a world where the United States does not exist as it has in the 20th century," says Peter Spiro, a law professor at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. "States are very intent on pursuing their distinct international interests, and if you're saying international interests, it makes a big difference whether you're sitting in Minnesota or New Mexico."

Nowhere is the growing power of states more obvious than along the US-Mexico border, especially in Texas, which accounts for 80 percent of the surface transportation of products between America and its neighbor to the south. There, under the influence of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), state officials are meeting regularly with Mexican counterparts to hammer out the daily details of free trade, from water quality along the Rio Grande to truck emissions.

"The daily interaction along the US-Mexican border dictates some degree of local control, since it is we who are living our lives within the framework of NAFTA," says Eliot Shapleigh, a state senator from El Paso.

These days, Senator Shapleigh says he finds himself working more closely with officials in the Mexican state of Chihuahua than with officials from Arkansas. And new laws are encouraging more cross- border cooperation.

One bill allows state money to pay for environmental projects on either side of the border. To improve air quality, for instance, Texas money can now be used to buy a polluting Mexican brick kiln and put it out of business. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Foreign Policy Goes Local ; State Capitals Are Adopting Their Own International Relations and Trade
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.