Each branch of the U.S. government contributes to U.S. trade policy.
The U.S. Congress, the legislative body of the government, advises (e.g. sets trade negotiation objectives), provides oversight, monitors, and legislates U.S. trade policy.
The Executive Branch sets an agenda for trade policy, negotiates U.S. trade agreements (directly with foreign governments with input from Congress, business groups, and public interest groups), provides guidance on the implementation of the laws with the issue of regulations, makes decisions on import relief cases and national security cases, monitors the enforcement of trade agreements, and works to resolve trade disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The U.S. courts make decisions on specific cases, which provides case law.
The following table illustrates and helps to explain the framework of U.S. trade policy.
|Branch of Government
|Format of U.S. Trade Policy
International Trade Commission (USITC)
|Decides cases, creates case law
Included in this, and the following sections below, are the primary source documents that provide legal basis for U.S. trade policy, in both print and electronic form. Print titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital versions are provided when available.
Direct links to the chapters of Title 19 (Customs Duties - 19 U.S.C.) are provided below from the U.S. House version of the United States Code online.
The links below also go the U.S. House version of the United States Code. Selected chapter headings related to U.S. trade policy are provided for reference. Often a more narrow part of the code—a section is referenced within a chapter, which is within a title. For reference to other topics, use the easily accessible search function. There are also many domestic programs which provide subsidies that may affect trade.
These resources will help understand the history of U.S. trade policy, how it is shaped, as well as current trade policy agenda and its review by WTO. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.