A.J. Tangeman


Both state and federal leaders will need to work together to preserve state sovereignty in the face of challenges posed by trade agreements. Greater federal-state communication will balance the struggle between the federal government's goal in promoting free trade and individual state governments' interests in protecting their sovereignty. Part II of this Comment examines the federalist principles that influence the existing federal-state framework of authority. Part II also discusses the federal government's constitutional authority over state compliance with U.S. trade obligations and whether states have any constitutional or legal authority to demand more autonomy in conducting their trade and commerce. Part III introduces NAFTA and discusses the U.S. government's obligation to individual states under NAFTA to consult with states in trade matters that will affect state interests. Part IV then examines how the NAFTA federal-state consultation process can serve as a safeguard against the federal government's infringement on state sovereignty.This Comment concludes that NAFTA, by requiring increased communication between federal and state government leaders, can have a positive impact on state sovereignty.