Intra-Executive Policy Laundering: A New Look at an Old Problem

Alvin Y.H. Cheung

Volume 41 - Issue 2, Winter 2016, Page 249

Abstract

"Policy laundering" is an executive-branch tactic of negotiating provisions into an multilateral agreement and then smuggling them back home under the guise of complying with international obligations. It has drawn criticism since 1998, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act implemented U.S. obligations under two intellectual property treaties. Erstwhile literature has focused on its use in treaties, with an executive branch presumably unified against potential opposition from a skeptical legislature. But individual executive agencies have also used international regulatory organizations to push their own unique agendas at the expense of other domestic agencies. While this dynamic may sometimes have salutary results, higher-level policymakers should ensure that important regulatory agendas are not too often circumvented by cannier bureaucratic jiu-jitsu.

Cite as: Alvin Y.H. Cheung, Intra-Executive Policy Laundering: A New Look at an Old Problem, 41 N.C. J. Int'l L. 249 (2016).
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