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Posted on September 28th, 2012, by

The protection of the principle of fair competition and avoidance of discriminatory laws are major characteristics of the modern trade policies in the USA. However, often legislators tend to violate these principles and attempt to regulate or limit trade, which they believe is harmful for the economy of state. In this respect, the initiatives of the Arizona legislators may be viewed as one of such legislative efforts, which actually violate the principle of fair competition and raise certain Constitutional issues, namely the issue of discrimination of interstate trade. In such a context, it is important to emphasize the fact that this legislative initiative of the Arizona’s legislators can produce a significant impact on the development of the trade and commercial relations in the state at large because it creates a dangerous precedent of the regulation of trade relations by the local authorities at the state level. This is particularly important taking into consideration the possible Constitutional issues that can be raised by this legislative initiative. In this respect, it is obvious that the Foreign Commerce Clause should be the fundamental legislative act on the basis of which the legal decision can be taken by the Arizona’s legislators. Otherwise, if they insist and implement the existing legislative project, it will definitely contradict to the basic norms and principles of the Foreign Commerce Clause and, therefore, cannot be applied and, what is more, it can have a negative impact on the development of trade within the state as well as at  the national and international levels.

Obviously, in order to understand possible legal effects of the implementation of the legislative initiatives suggested by the Arizona’s legislators, it is necessary to refer to the Foreign Commerce Clause, which actually regulates the foreign trade and commercial relations of states. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the Foreign Commerce Law constitutes an essential part of the US Constitution. In fact, the Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Foreign Commerce Clause, states that the Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with the Indian tribes. In such a way, the initiatives of the Arizona’s legislators refer to the part of the Foreign Commerce Clause concerning the regulation of the commerce with foreign nations. Along with this specific power the Congress is granted with the general power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the US, or in any Department or Officer thereof (Leuchtenburg, 1996).  In such a way, the Foreign Commerce Clause represents an extremely important legislative norm which allows the American legislators to regulate commerce. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that specialists (Leuchtenburg, 1996) argue that the Foreign Commerce Clause represents one of the most fundamental powers delegated to the Congress by the founders. The outer limits of the Foreign Commerce Clause power has been subject of long, political controversy. In fact, the Foreign Commerce Clause has helped define the balance of powers between the federal government and the states and the balance of power between the two elected branches of the Federal Government and the Judiciary (Leuchtenburg, 1996). In such a way, the Foreign Commerce Clause has a direct impact on the life of American citizens as well as economic relationships of states and foreign companies and countries.

On analyzing the legislative initiative of the Arizona’s legislators in the context of the Foreign Commerce Clause, it should be said that the legislative projects of the Arizona’s legislators are highly controversial because, on the one hand, they seem to exercise the power of the state legislators to regulate the state commerce and its commercial relations with foreign companies, while, on the other hand, the legislative initiative seems to be discriminatory in relation to the Indian call center. To put it more precisely, the legislators initiate the legislative changes on the ground that they have the legal authority to regulate the commerce within the state. In this regard, their legislative initiative seems to meet basic requirements of the Foreign Commerce Clause. Though it is worth mentioning the fact that the limitations of operation of the Indian call center in Arizona can interfere with the federal commerce regulations since the federal legislation can stimulate such commercial activities, for instance. Therefore, the legislative initiative of the Arizona’s legislators can come into clashes or simply contradict to the Federal legal norms, if the Federal authorities oppose to the limitation of such commercial relations with foreign companies. At this point, it is possible to refer to the Piazza’s v. Odom case, according to which the Arizona’s legislators’ initiative can undermine the ability of the Federal Government to speak with one voice regulating commercial affairs with foreign states.

In addition, it is obvious that the legislative initiative of the Arizona’s legislators is discriminatory in relation to the foreign company. To put it more precisely, the use of the services of the Indian call center is apparently cost saving for the state compared to the costs of the same set of services provided by a local or another American company. In the result of the implementation of the legislative initiative of the Arizona’s legislators, will lead to the discrimination of the Indian call center which can be deprived of the possibility to operate in Arizona on the basis of the legislative initiative of the local legislators. At this point, it is possible to refer to the Pike v. Bruce Church case, which reveal the fact that similar policies in regard to the interstate commerce have proved to be discriminatory. Moreover, the ban of functioning of the Indian call center in Arizona can affect others states since users of services of the Indian call center can be located in other states as well. Hence, Arizona will be simply excluded from the coverage of the Indian call center and it is not only the Indian call center that will be discriminated in such a case, but also the local users that will suffer from discriminatory legislative initiatives.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the legislative initiatives of the Arizona’s legislators in relation to the Indian call center raise a number of controversial issues. In fact, this legislative initiative contradicts to the Foreign Commerce Clause and put the Indian call center as well as its users in the USA in the disadvantageous position that violates basic principles of the fair competition.

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