Skip Navigation Links and Jump to Page Content  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Business Reference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
  Home >> Guides >> BERA >>
   Issue 25, Winter 2016

Statutes At Large

Primary Comprehensive Documents on U.S. Trade Policy

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).

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 25: Winter 2016

Guide to Researching
U.S. Trade Policy

Table of Contents

Introduction
Primary Comprehensive Documents on U.S. Trade Policy
Selected Elements of the U.S. Trade Policy
Participants in Trade Policy Development Process
Effect of Trade Policies and Practices
     Imports
     Exports
     Production and Trade
     Selected Industry Sectors
U.S. in the World Trade Organization
Research and Advocacy
Current News Sources
Selected Periodicals and Databases
LC Online Catalog Searches

Caption (image left):
The U.S. Statutes at Large
Courtesy of the Law Library of Congress.

The judicial branch - the U.S. courts - make decisions on specific cases, which provides case law. Table 1 helps explain the framework of U.S. trade policy.

Table 1. Framework of U.S. Trade Policy

Branch of Government Participant Format of U.S. Trade Policy
Legislature

U.S. Congress

  • Creates U.S. Statutes at Large (chronologically)
  • U.S. Code (by topic)
  • Sets trade negotiation objectives
  • Monitors and advises
Executive

U.S.T.R
Customs
State Department
International Trade Commission (USITC)
Other agencies

  • Negotiates trade agreements
  • Issues Federal Regulations: C.F.R. (compiled)
  • Publishes the Federal Register (proposed, recent regulations)
  • Issues policy documents
  • ITC: (quasi-judicial) – investigatory responsibilities; adjudications
 
Judicial
 
Courts      Decides cases, creates case law

U.S. Law – Various Titles

United States Statutes at Large. Prepared by National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 1937-
LC Call Number: KF50.U5
LC Catalog Record: 07035353

U.S. laws are compiled chronologically as the U.S. Statutes at Large, and by topic in the U.S. Code. A bulk of trade policy related law is included in Title 19, as well as Titles 7, 12, 15, 18 and 22, although more than half of the titles have some trade policy related law. U.S. laws can be found in the Law Library of Congress.
Title 19:  Customs Duties,
Title 7:    Agriculture
Title 12:  Banks and Banking
Title 15:  Commerce and Trade
Title 18:  Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Title 22:  Foreign Relations and Intercourse

U.S. Statutes at Large Online
http://uscode.house.gov/table3/table3years.htm

U.S. Statutes at Large can be searched by public law number, date of enactment, bill number, popular name, statutes at large citation, and U.S. code citation. Legislative history is also available.

U.S. Code

A list of chapters for U.S. Code Title 19, and names of other selected U.S. Code chapters are provided below.

Chapters of U.S. Code Title 19, Customs Duties (i.e. 19 U.S.C.)

CHAPTER 1—COLLECTION DISTRICTS, PORTS, AND OFFICERS (sections 1 to 70)
CHAPTER 1A—FOREIGN TRADE ZONES (sections 81a to 81u)
CHAPTER 2—THE TARIFF COMMISSION (sections 91 to 107)
CHAPTER 3—THE TARIFF AND RELATED PROVISIONS (sections 123 to 580)
CHAPTER 4—TARIFF ACT OF 1930 (sections 1301 to 1683g)
CHAPTER 5—SMUGGLING (sections 1701 to 1711)
CHAPTER 6—TRADE FAIR PROGRAM (sections 1751 to 1756)
CHAPTER 7—TRADE EXPANSION PROGRAM (sections 1801 to 1982)
CHAPTER 8—AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS (sections 2011 to 2033)
CHAPTER 9—VISUAL AND AUDITORY MATERIALS OF EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND CULTURAL CHARACTER (sections 2051 to 2052)
CHAPTER 10—CUSTOMS SERVICE (sections 2071 to 2083)
CHAPTER 11—IMPORTATION OF PRE-COLUMBIAN MONUMENTAL OR ARCHITECTURAL SCULPTURE OR MURALS (sections 2091 to 2095)
CHAPTER 12—TRADE ACT OF 1974
CHAPTER 13—TRADE AGREEMENTS ACT OF 1979 (sections 2501 to 2582)
CHAPTER 14—CONVENTION ON CULTURAL PROPERTY (sections 2601 to 2613)
CHAPTER 15—CARIBBEAN BASIN ECONOMIC RECOVERY (sections 2701 to 2707)
CHAPTER 16—WINE TRADE (sections 2801 to 2806)
CHAPTER 17—NEGOTIATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF TRADE AGREEMENTS (sections 2901 to 2906)
CHAPTER 18—IMPLEMENTATION OF HARMONIZED TARIFF SCHEDULE (sections 3001 to 3012)
CHAPTER 19—TELECOMMUNICATIONS TRADE (sections 3101 to 3111)
CHAPTER 20—ANDEAN TRADE PREFERENCE (sections 3201 to 3206)
CHAPTER 21—NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE (sections 3301 to 3473)
CHAPTER 22—URUGUAY ROUND TRADE AGREEMENTS (sections 3501 to 3624)
CHAPTER 23—EXTENSION OF CERTAIN TRADE BENEFITS TO SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (sections 3701 to 3741)
CHAPTER 24—BIPARTISAN TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY (sections 3801 to 3813)
CHAPTER 25—CLEAN DIAMOND TRADE (sections 3901 to 3913)
CHAPTER 26—DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-CENTRAL AMERICA FREE TRADE (sections 4001 to 4112)
CHAPTER 27—BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL TRADE PRIORITIES AND ACCOUNTABILITY (sections 4201 to 4210)
CHAPTER 28—TRADE FACILITATION AND TRADE ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2015 (sections 4301 to 4454)

Chapters of Other Titles of U.S. Code Related to U.S. Trade Policy

Selected chapter headings of other titles of the U.S. Code are provided below. 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.

7 U.S.C. Agriculture

Chapter 1     Commodity Exchanges (including foreign exchange swaps, regulation of foreign transactions)
Chapter 25   Export Standards for Apples
Chapter 15a  Export Standards for Grapes and Plums
Chapter 26   Agriculture Adjustment (inclusive of import prohibitions of specified foreign produce)
Chapter 35   Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (inclusive of import quotas)
Chapter 35a  Price Support
Chapter 39   Stabilization of International Wheat Market
Chapter 41   Food for Peace
Chapter 43   Foreign Market Development
Chapter 56   Unfair Trade Practices Affecting Producers of Agriculture Products
Chapter 66    Agriculture Foreign Investment Disclosure
Chapter 67   Implementation of International Sugar Agreement, 1977
Chapter 71   Agriculture Trade Suspension Adjustment
Chapter 75   International Carriage of Perishable Food Stuffs
Chapter 83   Agriculture Competitiveness and Trade
Chapter 87   Export Promotion

12 U.S.C. Banks and Banking

Chapter 6   Foreign Banking
Chapter 6a  Export-Import Bank of the United States
Chapter 32  Foreign Bank Participation in Domestic Markets
Chapter 40  International Lending Supervision

15 U.S.C. Commerce and Trade

Chapter 2   Federal Trade Commission; Promotion of Export Trade and the and Prevention of Unfair Methods of Competition (including investigation of foreign trade conditions)
Chapter 3   Trade Marks
Chapter 4   China Trade
Chapter 22  Trademarks
Chapter 40  Department of Commerce
Chapter 66  Promotion of Export Trade
Chapter 73  Export Enhancement
Chapter 74  Competitiveness Policy Council
Chapter 75  National Trade Data Bank
Chapter 88  International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance
Chapter 107 Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

18 U.S.C. Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 27  Customs

22 U.S.C. Foreign Relations and Intercourse

Chapter 21    Settlement of International Claims
Chapter 21A  Settlement of Investment Disputes
Chapter 36    Arms Export Control
Chapter 46    International Investment and Trade in Services Survey
Chapter 46a  Foreign Direct Investment and International Financial Data
Chapter 62    International Financial Policy

Compilation of U.S. Trade Statutes
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives
LC Call Number: KF1975.A29 U55
LC Catalog Record: 94644114

"Known as the Trade Blue Book, the Compilation of U.S. Trade Statutes includes not only an overview of the major provisions of Federal law pertaining to the conduct of U.S. international trade, but also an up-to-date statutory text of trade laws, integrating separate acts of Congress into one volume." The latest 2013 edition is available for purchase from Government Publishing Office bookstore.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
LC Call Number: KF70.A3 1949
LC Catalog Record: 49046198
Also available online:
Annual edition
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

CFR "is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government", sometimes referred to as administrative law. CFR titles are similar to those in the U.S.C. referenced above. Title 19 regulations provide information about customs procedures, as well as the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce, the International Trade Commission, U.S. trade agreements, preferential trade agreements, former negotiating authorities and objectives, quotas, tariff rate quotas, and many other aspects of U.S. trade policy. Almost half of the titles (25 of the 54 titles) refer to international trade or trade policy, so it is advised to search by specific topics.
In addition to the annual edition and the E-CFR that is updated daily, Cornell University Law School's CFR page can serve as a good reference source.

Case Law
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/

Legal research is not the focus here, but one source to locate cases is case law. One can use the pre-set category, "International Trade", or use specific topics.

Other Publications

Trade Policy Agenda & Annual Report of the President. Office of the United States Trade Representative. Washington, D.C. : Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, [1989?-
LC Call Number: HF1731 .A42 LC Catalog Record: 91655054
Past years available online from Hathi Trust Digital Library
Latest Edition Online

Annually, the U.S. Trade Representative Office in collaboration with other departments produces a trade policy agenda of the President and a report on the trade agreement program.

Trade policy review. The United States of America. Geneva : General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, [1990-
LC Call Number: HF 1455.T654 2012
LC Catalog Record: 90641093
Also available online

The World Trade Organization (WTO) reviews members' trade policy on a schedule based on the ranking in the world of a country's trade flows. The world's largest four traders are reviewed every two years, which includes the United States. A set of documents, one document by the WTO secretariat and another by the government being reviewed, are prepared for the Trade Policy Review body at the WTO. A number of documents are created by the review such as minutes of the meeting, chairperson's closing remarks, and answers to questions not addressed at the meeting.

WTO Trade Profile for the United States
http://stat.wto.org/CountryProfile/...Language=E&Country=US

The WTO trade profile uses a standardized two page format to enable cross country comparisons.

World Bank Doing Business – Trading Across Boarders
http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/united-states#trading-across-borders

Data in this resource include the identification of the number of documents to export and import, time to export and import, and cost to export and import using a standardized methodology for comparison cross countries.

Market Access Map. International Trade Centre (ITC)
http://www.macmap.org/...%3fcountry%3dSCC842&country=SCC842

The ITC (Geneva) has a set of market analysis tools which provide trade statistics, tariffs and market requirements, foreign direct investment data, voluntary standards, and market analysis studies. The market analysis tools include: Trade Map, Market Access Map, Investment Map, Trade Competitiveness Map, and Standards Map. Of particular interest is the Market Access Map which provides information in the following categories: Import regulations, export regulations, trade support institutions, and international links.

Eckes, Alfred E. U.S. Trade Issues: A Reference Handbook Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2009.
LC Call Number: HF 1455.E35 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2009020942
Publisher description

An expert analysis of key issues, individuals, and developments in U.S. trade policy from national, regional, and global perspectives.

Last updated: 08/01/2017

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Guides >> BERA >>
   Issue 25, Winter 2016
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  August 4, 2017
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian