International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 116th Congress

Publication Date: January 2020

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Author(s): Andres B. Schwarzenberg; Rebecca M. Nelson

Research Area: Trade

Type: Report


The U.S. Constitution grants authority to Congress to lay and collect duties and regulate foreign commerce. Congress exercises this authority in numerous ways, including through oversight of trade policy and consideration of legislation to implement trade agreements and authorize trade programs. Policy issues cover areas such as U.S. trade negotiations, U.S. trade and economic relations with specific regions and countries, international institutions focused on trade, tariff and nontariff barriers, worker dislocation due to trade liberalization, enforcement of trade laws and trade agreement commitments, import and export policies, international investment, economic sanctions, and other trade-related functions of the federal government. Congress also has authority over U.S. financial commitments to international financial institutions and oversight responsibilities for trade- and finance-related agencies of the U.S. government.