Nonsequitur: Is “Fast Track” on Trade Constitutional?

June 12, 2015

The President wants the ability to negotiate international trade treaties with limited input or interference from Congress. Is this constitutional? Probably not.

From Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes; ….”

Whether or not TPA, TPP, TTIP or TISA would help the US economy, is irrelevant. (These agreements probably would help US corporations and certainly could hurt US workers.) The power for trade agreements lies with Congress, not the President.

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