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Rules Regarding Foreign Affairs

The Federal Administrative Procedure rule-making provisions are not applicable to foreign affairs functions of the United States.  This policy extends to diplomatic activities of the country.  Administrative rulemaking provisions are not applicable in matters where the President or subordinates define, modify or even violate the terms of an international agreement.  These exemptions to rulemaking procedures were formulated because they have an impact beyond the borders of the United States.  Moreover, the exemptions apply over matters in which a foreign affairs function is directly involved and which affect relations with other governments.  The purpose of exempting rulemaking procedures in such matters is to avoid undesirable international consequences.

In Mast Industries, Inc. v. Regan, 8 C.I.T. 214 (Ct. Int’l Trade 1984), plaintiffs were importers and retailers of textile products.  They filed a motion for summary judgment before the U.S. Court of International Trade, challenging interim regulations promulgated by the president.  These interim regulations amended the requirements for importing textiles and textile products subject to quantitative limitations under bilateral trade agreements or pursuant to unilaterally imposed restraints.   The president’s authority to make interim regulations and the application of the rulemaking procedures where challenged by plaintiff.  Defendants government’s and intervenors’ motion for summary judgment was granted by the Court for the reason that the President acted within the scope of his constitutional authority in issuing the interim regulations as they fell under foreign affairs function or general statement of policy exceptions.

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