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Trade Regulation: an overview

The terms trade and commerce are often used interchangeably, with commerce referring to large-scale business activity and trade describing commercial traffic within a state or a community. The U.S. Constitution, through the Commerce Clause, gives Congress exclusive power over trade activities between the states and with foreign countries. Trade within a state is regulated exclusively by the states themselves. As with any commercial activity, intrastate and interstate trade is often times indistinguishable.

Federal agencies that help in trade regulation include the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the International Trade Administration (ITA). The DOC is an agency of the executive branch that promotes international trade, economic growth, and technological advancement. The ITA is a branch of the DOC that works to improve the international trade position of the United States. For additional topics related to trade regulation please refer to commercial law. Commercial Law: an overview Commercial law governs the broad areas of business, commerce, and consumer transactions. Specific law has developed in a number of commercial fields. These include:
  • Banking
  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Credit
  • Contracts
  • Debtor and Creditor
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Mortgages
  • Negotiable Instruments
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
The Uniform Commercial Code, which has been substantially adopted as statutory law in nearly every state, governs numerous areas of commercial law. Currently it is divided into thirteen Articles:
  1. Article 1 (General Provisions)
  2. Article 2 (Sales)
    1. Article 2A (Leases)
  3. Article 3 (Negotiable Instruments)
  4. Article 4 (Bank Deposits)
    1. Article 4A (Funds Transfers)
  5. Article 5 (Letters of Credit)
  6. Article 6 (Bulk Sales)
  7. Article 7 (Warehouse Receipts)
  8. Article 8 (Investment Securities)
  9. Article 9 (Secured Transactions)
  10. Article 10 (Effective Date and Repealer)
  11. Article 11 (Effective Date and Transition Provisions)

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