Regulating Foreign Commerce Through Multiple Pathways
18 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021
Date Written: October 1, 2020
This Essay looks at the regulation of foreign distilled spirits coming into the United States as a lens through which to understand how trade commitments become a part of U.S. law. The experience of distilled spirits in the last forty years demonstrates that trade agreements have the power to create new administrative rules, to lock in domestic rules already on the books, and to be entirely powerless in the face of executive branch intransigence. But this story is just one illustration of competing authorities and unclear allegiances among the branches when it comes to issues of cross-border movement of goods and services. The commitments made in trade agreements seep into the law of the United States in myriad undercounted ways, not just through implementing legislation or regulatory action. The Essay begins to peel back the layers of this complicated area at the intersection of foreign relations, trade, and administrative law.
Keywords: foreign commerce, separation of powers, implementation of international agreements, administrative law, foreign relations, trade executive agreements
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