International Relations Task Force: Meeting Summary

December 8, 2011

NCSL’s International Relations Task Force (IRTF) met in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 8, 2011. San Juan has historically served an important role in international relations, making it an ideal location for the focus of the Task Force. The Task Force was privileged to hear from experts on trade and tourism, the two mainstays of the Puerto Rican economy. Mr. Edward Calverspert, Deputy Secretary for Economic Development, and Mr. Mario Gonzales La Fuente, the Executive Director of Puerto Rico Tourism Co. met with the task force and discussed how trade and tourism can be revenue generators for states and territories. This emphasis gave the legislators and staff ideas for promoting these two sectors in their states. The Task Force was also able to take a tour of the Capital building and have a discussion about the role of state legislatures in international relations. Members of the Puerto Rico Assembly met with the Task Force, giving the legislators an opportunity to network and discuss areas of mutual interest with their Puerto Rican counterparts.
The Mission of NCSL’s International Relations Task Force is to address states’ roles in international relations by: identifying the structure for NCSL’s international activities; reviewing NCSL’s activities with foreign national and sub-national governments; exploring how state legislatures might better coordinate international activities and approaches; and exploring available resources from the US Government, foreign governments or foundations to support expanded international cooperation between legislators, legislative staff and their counterparts in other national or sub-national governments.

Updated December 10, 2011