The dispute over the extent of the meaning of “trade” is largely about the purposes attributed to the clause and the Constitution as a whole, and what is considered to be the relevance of those purposes to the importance of the text. In Philadelphia in 1787, the Convention decided that Congress could “legislate in all cases” . . . States are incompetent separate or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual legislation.” Two Fed statements. Convention 21 (Max Farrand, 1911); see also 1 Records of Fed. Convention 21 (Resolution VI of the Virginia Plan). This was then translated by the retail committee into the current list of powers in Article I, Section 8, which was accepted by the Convention as a functional equivalent without much discussion. Proponents of expansionary reading argue that the power to regulate trade should be extended to any problem that states cannot solve separately. Those who support a closer reading find that the Constitution aims to limit and strengthen Congress, and the broadest reading of trade power goes far beyond anything the Framers had imagined. As deviants have said in the case of public health, “Article I contains no power to resolve anything of national power. The trade clause should be read in light of the constitution`s objective: to allow Congress to address problems between states with which states are unable to act effectively.
That is exactly what the statutes did not allow him to do. “Multi-State” trade is, as Chief Justice Marshall put it, “trade that involves more states than one” – which has intergovernmental ripple effects or creates problems of collective action that no state can solve alone. Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) (Marshall, C.J.). In addition to other pervasive evidence of the public significance of these concepts, the issue of slavery helps clarify the initial public significance of these concepts at the time of their adoption. “Trade” meant the activity of selling, trading, exchanging goods and people, unlike the manufacture of things that are displaced. “To regulate” meant doing regularly, but at least as far as international trade was concerned, there was also the power to prohibit the trade of certain objects, since Congress prohibits the slave trade.