Congress shall have the power
1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises . . .
3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes. (emphasis added) -- U.S. Constitution, art. 1, sec. 8
"We're at war," Deputy Commerce Secretary Clarence J. "Bud" Brown exclaimed as he arrived at the Capitol Hill Club for lunch.
Have the Russians bombed New York? I wondered, or has President Reagan retaliated against Japanese trade barriers?
"At war with whom?" I asked.
"With Congress, of course," Brown responded.
Brown's comment in September 1985 reflected the unique culture of Washington, D.C., where Democrats and Republicans shared the government and battled relentlessly for advantage. With one party entrenched in Congress and the other holding the White House, the real enemy often seemed only sixteen blocks away. Until the bitter 1993 debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) energized ordinary Americans and fractured the two major political parties, trade struggles usually aroused only Washington insiders -- a group largely composed of U.S. officials, foreign representatives, and lobbyists. Many of the lobbyists were former presidential appointees who chose to remain near the center of government power representing business interests, especially foreign corporations eager to share the giant American