Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Trump, Tariffs, and Trade

March 15, 2018 by NCC Staff


Over the past few months, President Trump has announced new tariffs on imported goods from solar panels and washing machines to steel and aluminum. He has also taken swift executive action to block international mergers that he has deemed harmful to U.S. interests from occurring, and has even said he would consider withdrawing from NAFTA and related trade agreements.

President Trump’s protectionist policies are a reversal of mostly free-trade orientated policies of past administrations, and his actions raise important constitutional questions about the extent of executive power over trade policy, separation of powers and the non-delegation doctrine, as well as the future of U.S. and global trade.

Timothy Meyer is a Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School. He is an expert in public international law, with an emphasis on international economic and energy law. He previously worked as a Legal Advisor for the Department of State, and clerked for now-Justice Neil Gorsuch while he was on the 10th Circuit.

Steve Charnovitz is Associate Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School. He is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute, and the author of many publications including The Path of World Trade Law in the 21st Century.


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