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Trade laws are enacted to ensure industry competitiveness in the United States. The U.S. Congress, by virtue of its constitutional prerogative of regulating interstate and foreign commerce, enacted several bills, including the Tariff Act of 1930 and the Trade Act of 1974, to govern trade. The American Constitution ensures that the country is a free market. American trade law do not just govern interstate trade, but also trade between the United States and foreign countries, to ensure the existence of free trade and prohibit the occurrence of anti-competitive business practices. Trade law has evolved through the years, in reaction of the constantly changing face of trade, both internally and internationally.

Trade law is a complicated area of the legal practice as it touches upon numerous other areas of the law, such as business laws, employment laws, tax laws, and antitrust laws. There are numerous issues accompanying trade and commerce, and each issue often require the assistance of attorneys who are expert in specific niche in law. With respect to intrastate commerce, state law applies. Resolving trade disputes arising from intrastate commerce relationship may not be as difficult as resolving trade disputes arising from interstate commerce relationship as only one set of law governs. Nevertheless, it is imperative for traders and business owners to seek the advice of expert trade law attorney as there are still nuances in state trade law that may not seem very obvious to even the most sophisticated of traders. Disputes arising from interstate commerce becomes increasingly more difficult as state trade law varies and may have little commonalities, except in the promotion of free trade.

Workers, being one of the most crucial element in trade and commerce, are protected by numerous trade laws, especially against job loss or reduced wages. Workers' rights are enshrined by different set of laws that interlink with trade laws. In addition, specific trade laws protect consumers from abusive and conspiratorial business practices. It is the Federal Trade Commission's main job to ensure that consumers are protected from fraudulent and deceptive business practices. While trade laws are in place to ensure a free economy, it cannot be helped that some industries form mergers. The FTC ensures that these mergers do not restrict competition, which harm consumers.

Trade law, when applied to international commerce, becomes even more complicated as international law, in general, or specific treatises, govern. The U.S. has trade agreements with almost all nations in the world, but each trade agreement is different depending on the industry. The U.S. also regularly limits the import and export of certain products with a specific country as a matter of foreign policy. Unprecedented events in the international arena also gives rise to amendment of American trade policy in order to protect the business interest of the United States. In the area of trade law, it is imperative to employ the services of an expert trade law attorney who can examine the law of its legislative intent as this is crucial for the interpretation and adjudication of the law.

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