The Legislative Branch and Trade

Co-sponsored by the Article I Initiative and the Capitol Hill Chapter

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American trade policy has been the subject of much interest and media attention over the last two years. The Constitution grants the legislative branch full authority over trade policy, including the power to impose and collect taxes, duties, tariffs, and to regulate international commerce. By contrast, the Constitution gives the President authority to negotiate international agreements and it assigns him no specific power over international commerce and trade.

However, Congress has consistently delegated much of its power to regulate trade to the executive branch. From global trade initiatives to trade barriers and agreements, should Congress more fully assert its role? Our expert panel will address these topics and more.


  • Stephen J. Claeys, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Daniel McCarthy, Editor, Modern Age
  • Brian A. Pomper, Partner, Akin Gump LLP
  • Moderator: Molly Boyl Fromm, General Counsel and Parliamentarian, Financial Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Introduction: Nathan Kaczmarek, Director, Article I Initiative, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies