On May 22, the Assembly Labor Committee released the “Jobs, Trade and Democracy Act,” which is new legislation (A2754) that would provide for greater State oversight of international trade policy affecting New Jersey, to a potential floor vote. The proposed bill would establish a 20-member commission called the “Citizen’s Commission on Jobs, Trade and Democracy,” which would monitor international trade negotiations and disputes; assess the social, environmental, legal and economic impacts of foreign trade agreements and proposed trade agreements; hold hearings; and ultimately make recommendations regarding trade policy and the terms of any trade agreement between the United States and any other country or international political entity. According to Joseph V. Egan, the sponsor of the bill, “Protecting, preserving and promoting our state’s economy in the global marketplace cannot simply be left to federal officials in the White House. We must ensure that decisions which will impact New Jersey are, in fact, made in New Jersey.” A parallel proposed bill (S1802) was introduced by the Senate on May 8.
Note: This article was published in the June 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.