1.1 Preamble

Governors believe that commerce is the engine of economic development and job creation. Many cylinders power this complex engine, including, but not limited to, capital access, trade and investment, taxation and regulation, research and development and innovation, and collaborations between private firms, academic institutions, federal research laboratories, and the public sector.

The U.S. economy is the collection of urban, suburban and rural economies interconnected among the states and territories within their geographic borders and, in many cases, regionally. Governors also recognize and respect the sovereignty of Indian tribal governments and support economic advancements and independence for tribes.

Governors recognize that the global marketplace presents both challenges and opportunities for commerce, and affirm that observance of the following guiding principles in federal laws, regulations, and practices can support our nation’s economic growth and prosperity.

1.2 Guiding Principles

1.2.1 Generally

  • A strong federal-state partnership can help foster collaborations between traditional and non-traditional parties to develop commerce strategies that power national economic growth.
  • Commerce strategies should produce significant, measurable economic gains for the country through jobs, productivity, income, exports, imports, and international investment.
  • The most effective federal programs provide states with necessary flexibility to address their unique needs and competitive advantages, not a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

1.2.2 Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • The United States must continue to invest in and conduct basic and applied research, translate that research into technological innovations, and spark economic growth through the commercialization of those innovations.
  • The federal government can help support entrepreneurship and innovation through technology transfer policies that provide for speed and efficiency, but protect national security interests and intellectual property integrity.
  • Integrating innovative research and development into state and multi-state regional economic development clusters should be a performance goal for the federal government.
  • The federal government should support a full range of innovative and flexible capital access programs (including seed and venture capital), because they help seed entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization, global market research, trade development assistance, and trade finance, all of which nurture innovation, market opportunities and export sales, and job creating lines of credit for small- and medium-sized U.S. businesses.
  • Access to reliable and affordable advanced technologies is important to help deliver economic opportunity to everyone.
  • Foster a collaborative economic development environment that assists businesses of any size that want to compete in domestic and global markets.

1.2.3 Trade, Investment and Global Competitiveness

  • Trade agreements that respect non-discriminatory state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and that affirm that all parties adhere to the rule of law, help create open, transparent, and fair global markets.
  • Increase the number of businesses that are exporting and raise the value of exports for those businesses that are exporting.
  • Lowering barriers to legitimate domestic and international business and leisure travel helps promote trade and investment.
  • Transition assistance to U.S. workers injured by changing technology, regulatory and trade trends helps smooth market economies.

1.2.4 Tax and Regulation

  • A regulatory and tax environment that balances public needs without chilling economic growth and job creation must be a lynchpin of federal laws and regulations that govern commerce.
  • No federal law or regulation should preempt, limit, or interfere with the constitutional or statutory rights of states to develop and operate their revenue and tax systems.
  • The preservation of public financing – notably tax-exempt financing – is necessary because it is the primary method for states to raise capital for a wide range of public projects.
  • Federal statutory and regulatory policies should neither increase bond issuance costs to states and local governments, directly or indirectly, nor diminish retail and institutional market demand for bonds issued by states and local governments.
  • Federal tax reforms should deliver simplicity, adopt innovation, promote certainty, and produce savings for both federal and state governments.
  • Federal tax policies and expenditures serve public policy purposes not necessarily captured in revenue and spending numbers. To help avoid unintended consequences from federal tax reform, federal and state partners should work together to determine whether the policy benefits or particular federal tax expenditures exceed their budgetary costs before making final decisions.
  • Federal tax reforms should not simply shift costs or impose unfunded mandates onto the states.
  • Any federal regulatory and statutory framework that governs an industry sector should create efficiencies and strive to complement, not undermine a state’s ability to promote economic development and commerce in that sector.

1.2.5 Telecommunications

  • Maintain the dual system of telecommunications regulation established under the Communications Act, permitting states to regulate intrastate telecommunications.
  • Expand high-speed broadband internet access to support growing businesses and promote economic development.

Time limited (effective Winter Meeting 2017 – Winter Meeting 2019).
Adopted Winter Meeting 2017.