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International Economic Agreements and the Constitution


  • Richard M. Goodman

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • John M. Frost

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


International agreements, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), generally aim to facilitate the free flow of goods and services among nations.1 The U.S. Supreme Court has developed a jurisprudence similarly aiming to facilitate the free flow of goods and services among the several states. That jurisprudence has developed from litigation challenging the constitutionality of state actions on the basis of the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses of the Constitution (art. I, § 8, cl. 3, and art. VI, cl. 2). In some subject areas, Commerce Clause decisions closely align with international agreements. In other areas, either or both fall short of achieving economic integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard M. Goodman & John M. Frost, 2000. "International Economic Agreements and the Constitution," Working Paper Series WP00-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp00-2

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