International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress [April 15, 2013] [open pdf - 380KB]
"The U.S. Constitution grants authority over the regulation of foreign commerce to Congress, which it exercises in a variety of ways. These include the oversight of trade policy generally, and more particularly, the consideration of legislation to approve trade agreements and authorize trade programs. Policy issues cover such areas as: U.S. trade negotiations; tariffs; nontariff barriers; worker dislocation from trade liberalization, trade remedy laws; import and export policies; international investment, economic sanctions; and the trade policy functions of the federal government. Congress also has an important role in international finance. It has the authority over U.S. financial commitments to international financial institutions and oversight responsibilities for trade- and finance-related agencies of the U.S. Government. The 112th Congress approved U.S. bilateral free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, extended the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs through December 31, 2013, and reauthorized the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through July 31, 2013. In addition, Congress authorized permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status for Russia and Moldova, reauthorized the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and approved full U.S. participation in general capital increases for the World Bank and four regional development banks."
CRS Report for Congress, R41553
U.S. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/