Working Out the Tensions: Fast Track Authority as a Study in Executive/Congressional Cooperation
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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Congress and the Executive have managed the Constitutional invitation to struggle over international trade issues, at least at first glance, with more ease than they seem to have where military power is involved. As with war powers, there is a division of responsibility between the branches and the problem of practicality. The Constitution in Article I, Section 8 puts trade under Legislative preview, but Congress recognizes the Executive is the branch able to negotiate international deals cutting tariffs or opening markets for U.S. exports. The fast track procedure first included in the 1974 Trade Act provided a mechanism to resolve tension between constitutional authority and practicality effectiveness in international affairs. However, Congress refusal of President Clintons 1994 request to renew fast track suggests the Legislatives determination to maintain control and, perhaps, that branchs greater sensitivity to public sentiment.
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