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Congress, Don’t Let Trump Usurp Your Power Over Trade

Robert B. Zoellick

By Robert B. Zoellick (original source Wall Street Journal)

“Congress should reassert its constitutional authority over trade. To start, lawmakers should insist on their prerogative to decide whether to retain the North American Free Trade Agreement or adopt President Trump’s proposed replacement.

Congress passed Nafta in 1993 after a major debate and enacted legislation to implement it. Members should remind the president that the executive’s role does not extend to overriding Congress’s votes and statutes. Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the authority “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations” and “to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises.” Congressional conservatives concerned about the overreach of the administrative state should not permit the executive to bypass Congress’s own determinations. Congress has authority to hold on to Nafta or vote for a new deal.”

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