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For Immediate Release

Date: 03/14/11

Rep. Joyce Maker to Chair Citizen Trade Policy Commission

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Joyce Maker will serve as House chair of the Citizen Trade Policy Commission (CTPC) during this legislative session, putting her in position to help analyze the impact of international trade agreements on the Maine workforce.

Rep. Maker (R-Calais), a first-term legislator, said she is honored by the appointment. "I look forward to voicing my concerns and making policy recommendations to protect Maine's jobs and business environment from the negative impact of trade agreements," she said.

"Free trade is a good thing overall," she added, "but it must be fair trade, and too often it is not. First and foremost, we must look after the economic well-being of our country and American citizens."

The CPTC was established by the Legislature in 2003 to provide an ongoing, state-level mechanism to assess the effect of international trade policies and agreements on the state's laws, working conditions and business climate. Through the commission, citizens and legislators can express their concerns and complaints and design policy recommendations to mitigate the negative impact of trade agreements on the Maine economy.

"International trade policies are complex and developed through long negotiations at the national level," said Rep. Maker, a retired college administrator and financial aid director. "Currently, they are negotiated without meaningful participation of the states. Consequently, in seeking to open trade opportunities, they can affect state sovereignty and regulatory authority."

The CTPC has 17 voting members, including three state representatives and three state senators. The group also includes a small business owner, a small farmer, a representative of a Maine-based corporation active in international trade and the Maine attorney general.

Other members, appointed by the Legislature's presiding officers, include a Maine-based manufacturer, a member of a nonprofit human rights organization, an environmentalist and a representative of organized labor.

The trade policy panel meets at least twice a year and files an annual report about the impact of international trade agreements on Maine's state laws, municipal laws, working conditions and business environment. ###

Contact:
Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445