WATCH - Trade Authority: Who Does What? - Global Trade Magazine
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  May 2nd, 2017 | Written by

WATCH – Trade Authority: Who Does What?

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  • The US Constitution grants Congress full and final authority over trade policy.

The US Constitution grants Congress full and final authority over trade policy. But, since the 1930s, Congress has increasingly granted more authority to the president. Today, the president has power to negotiate trade agreements, subject to specific objectives from Congress. In turn, Congress has agreed to vote such agreements up or down, without amendment. Congress has also granted the executive the power to act on its own against unfair trade practices and in emergency situations.

With trade emerging as a highly divisive issue and with President Trump vigorously wielding executive authority, what are viable options for a division of power on trade policy between Congress and the executive branch? Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, spoke at the American Enterprise Institute on the existing role of the executive and congressional branches surrounding US trade policy.