Presentation by OEDIT
COMMITTEE ON JOINT FINANCE
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The meeting of the Joint Finance Committee came to order.
12:33 PM -- Presentation by OEDIT
Mr. Matt Cheroutes and Ms. Pam Reichert, representing the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), presented an update on international trade developments to the Joint Finance Committee. The presenters distributed a memorandum (Attachment A). The update is a reporting requirement pursuant to Section 24-47-101, Colorado Revised Statutes, that requires OEDIT to inform the General Assembly by March 1 of each year about ongoing trade developments, trade negotiations and the possible impact on Colorado's economy.
Ms. Reichert stated that there are three bilateral trade agreements that have been signed by the United States with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea. These agreements, she explained, have not been passed by the U.S. Congress. Ms. Reichert explained that a new U.S. Trade Representative as well as a new U.S. Secretary of Commerce still need to be confirmed. She stated that the agreements would allow U.S. exports greater access to world markets. This, she stated, could help the computer electronics, machinery, chemical, and agricultural industries in Colorado. Ms. Reichert stated the office is not aware of any Colorado laws that could be determined as an "impermissible barrier" to implementing the trade agreements.
Ms. Reichert also stated OEDIT prepared a final report that showed a 4.3 percent increase in Colorado's exports in 2008. She also discussed the top trading markets around the world and the top Colorado exports.
Ms. Reichert responded to questions about Colorado's presence in the international trade market. She stated that Colorado works through the U.S. foreign commercial offices that handle trade issues overseas to assist businesses, and the state does not have its own trade offices. She explained that the state works with these trade offices to assist small business in Colorado in exporting their products.