Trump’s “Withdrawal” From WHO: Just Security

Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization, another treaty arrangement, in the midst of a pandemic. The Trump administration may be trying to deflect attention from a disastrous pandemic response, yet Harold Koh of Yale Law School focuses on legal issues: Trump, lacking legal authority, did not actually withdraw the US from WHO, and Congress could prevent such withdrawal. A 1948 congressional joint resolution specified the United States could withdraw with two conditions: Providing a year's notice and fulfilling financial obligations for the current fiscal year. The US has an election in November, and Trump may not be president next year. Even if the US reelects Trump, the US must pay the balance of its 2020 assessed contribution, $60 million. Koh argues that the president lacks constitutional power to withdraw the country from such international agreements and opponents could launch a court challenge. Koh reviews legal precedent and concludes: “It would be grievous error, in the waning days of his first and perhaps only term, for an impeached, mercurial president (or his lawyers) to assume that our Constitution confides in Trump alone the power to disengage the United States from the WHO, or other crucial international organizations that make up the post-World War II legal order.” – YaleGlobal

Trump’s "Withdrawal" From WHO: Just Security

Trump made a big announcement on withdrawing the US from the World Health Organization, yet lacks authority; expect court challenges
Harold Hongju Koh
Monday, June 1, 2020

Read the article from Just Security about legal complications  surrounding the US president's announced withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

Harold Hongju Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law with Yale Law School; and served as legal adviser to the US Department of State (2009-13) and assistant US Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (1998-2001). He is a member of the editorial board of Just Security.

US Constitution “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”    - Article I, section 7, clause 1  “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”   - Article I, section 9, clause 7
Checks and balances: The US Constitution gives Congress the "power of the purse" and the president can expect challenges in distributing funds designated for the World Health Organization to other health agencies (Source: US House of Representatives)

© 2020 Just Security

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