The Commerce Compromise refers to a compromise between the Northern and Southern States during the Constitutional Convention as to how the federal government could regulate commerce, according to "The Story of the Constitution" by Sol Bloom and Lars Johnson.
The Commerce Compromise was only one of many compromises achieved during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Northerners wanted to restrict foreign competition for raw good and finished products by taxing both imports and exports. Southerners opposed taxes on exports since their economy depended heavily on cheap agricultural exports. The compromise allowed the federal government to only tax imports.
Taxes on Slaves
The continuation of the slave trade was a contentious issue that threatened the ratification of the Constitution. The Southerners, who depended on slave labor, agreed to a $10 tax on the importation of every slave, but were able to delay the tax for 20 years.
The agreement also provided that a two-thirds majority in the Senate had to ratify all treaties. The Southerners believed this favored them. Abolitionists were left frustrated in their efforts to eradicate the slave trade.