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state level foreign policy in USA

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
In USA, does it ever happen that a state/governor has to take a policy decision on foreign affairs. For example, will it ever make an impact in any sense if Gov.Jerry Brown decides to support or oppose sanctions on Israel for example. Will they be ever pushed to make a stance on foreign affairs, when , in this example, Israel is not close to any of the states. (you can make a point with Mexico that it is close the state, and hence I state that)
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Question by:25112
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leonstryker earned 200 total points
ID: 36545053
Each state in the US may make a decision as to how they conduct their financial affairs in relation to a foreign country, but it can not supersede the position of the Federal Government. For example, a state may decide that none of its funds may be invested in a foreign country, or a company doing business in a particular country (this was the case with South Africa for a time), but they can not legislate an import duty or prevent trading as that is the realm of the Federal government.

In cases where a state passes a law which the Federal government views as infringing on its turf, a lawsuit is filed to declare the law unconstitutional. This is what is going on with the Arizona Immigration Law at the moment.
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by:25112
ID: 36545088
OK- if they are free to do financial transactions with countries of their choice, could this happen:

one state wants to do business with Israel and sell them technology
Neighboring State feels differently about Jerusalem and they sell technology to palestine?
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by:leonstryker
ID: 36545122
No. Sale of technology is governed by Federal government. The most states can do is invest/or not state money into Israel or Palestinian based companies.
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by:25112
ID: 36545471

By the term "invest", what all could it mean? is it buying stocks?

 is a state free to invest both in Israel and Palestine companies, given that there is friction between the two parties they represent?
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by:leonstryker
ID: 36545516
>what all could it mean? is it buying stocks?

Pretty much, more like buying stocks and/or other securities of companies based there. In reality they do not invest in actual stocks, but may invest in mutual funds which may be investing in companies doing business in those territories. And, then I say state may invest, in reality we are talking about things like state sponsored pension plans rather than any direct investment of tax money collected by the state.
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by:25112
ID: 36546694
as an example, does any state in usa have policy against doing business like above with Israel or China or Palestine?
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by:leonstryker
ID: 36546818
I am not 100% sure, but I do not believe so.
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by:25112
ID: 36560659
thank you for your knowledgeable answer..
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