Governors and the Global Market: A Michigan Example

Cole Lussier, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In American foreign affairs law, it is long established that the “external powers of the United States are to be exercised without regard to state laws or policies.”[i] Yet this does not mean that governors are required to ignore the effects of an increasingly connected global community and the opportunities it presents. Indeed, to varying degrees of success, savvy governors have attempted to tap into the international marketplace to establishing trade relationships and attract foreign investment to their states. Continue reading

Do International Trade and Human Rights Law Allow “Fat Taxes”?

Alicia McCaffrey, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

Many in the U.S. remember the controversy that ensued when Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to enact a ban on the sale of large containers of soda in New York City.[1] While the national response was rather negative (and in fact a New York state judge later overruled the regulation[2]), the proposed ban would not have been unusual in the international context. Several countries, most of which are European, have enacted similar regulations with varying degrees of success.[3] This article examines whether these kinds of “Fat Taxes” are in accordance with international law. Continue reading

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement Provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Not the Death Knell Critics Are Looking For

Michael Pucci, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

A little over a year before handing over the keys to the White House to his successor, President Obama finds himself in a peculiar position: he may have to rely primarily on Republican support for one of his last major legislative initiatives. After years of negotiations, the United States and eleven Pacific Rim countries concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”), a trade agreement that is a “capstone [to Obama’s] economic agenda to expand exports and of his foreign policy ‘rebalance’ toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia.”[1] Now Congress will have its say on that matter. Earlier this summer, the Senate approved fast-track authority for the TPP, ensuring that Congress will have an up-or-down vote free from a Senate filibuster or any amendments.[2]  Continue reading