Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Taubman Center

Thomas Barnico - Trade Agreements and State Governments: Continuing Threats to Sovereignty?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, Seminar Room

International trade agreements have expanded rapidly in recent years. Supporters claim that the agreements carefully balance the benefits of free trade with the labor, environmental, and other regulatory interests of the signatory nations. Many US states, however, claim that trade agreements unduly restrict or preempt state laws regulating commerce.

As Congress considers the next round of trade agreements -- such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- the states will once again to seek to preserve their constitutional role in protecting the public interest. Join us for a discussion of the balance between federal and state interests at stake during international trade negotiations.

Thomas A. Barnico is a member of the faculty at Boston College Law School, where he co-directs the Attorney General Clinical Program. Barnico served as an assistant attorney general in Massachusetts from 1981 to 2010. He represented the state and its officers in civil cases involving constitutional law, administrative law, and business regulation. He has argued three cases in the US Supreme Court and scores of cases in the US Court of Appeals and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Barnico received his AB degree from Dartmouth College and received his JD degree from Boston College Law School.