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Protection for Exporters

Power and Discrimination in Transatlantic Trade Relations, 1930–2010

Andreas Dür

Publication Year: 2010

The liberalization of transatlantic trade relations since the Great Depression is one of the key developments in the global political economy of the last hundred years. This period has seen the negotiated reduction of both tariffs and nontariff barriers among developed countries, which allowed for the rapid expansion of trade flows, a driving force of economic globalization. In Protection for Exporters, Andreas Dür provides a novel explanation for this phenomenon that stresses the role of societal interests in shaping trade politics. He argues that exporters lobby more in reaction to losses of foreign market access than in pursuit of opportunities, thus providing a rationale for periods of acceleration and slowdown in the pace of liberalization.

Dür also presents hypotheses about the form in which protection for exporters is provided (preferential or nonpreferential) and the balance of concessions that is exchanged in trade negotiations. Protection for Exporters includes case studies of major developments in international trade relations, such as the passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in the 1930s, the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in the 1940s, the Kennedy Round in the 1960s, the debate over Fortress Europe in the 1980s, and U.S.-European competition over access to emerging markets in the early 2000s.

Dür's rigorous argument and systematic empirical analyses not only explain transatlantic trade relations but also allow for a better understanding of the dynamics of international economic relations.

Published by: Cornell University Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

Tables and Figures

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pp. ix-x

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Economists have long argued that under most circumstances unilateral trade liberalization is the economically most efficient policy. Trade creates welfare gains for a country by encouraging specialization and a more efficient allocation of resources. At the same time, political economists and political scientists have persuasively demonstrated that imposing barriers to trade is a politically sensible course of action...


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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-14

Since the 1930s, transatlantic trade relations have undergone a significant trans-formation as a series of trade negotiations have dismantled trade barriers that were erected before and during the Great Depression in the early 1930s. Successive trade rounds have reduced tariffs to the point where they are of little relevance in shaping current transatlantic trade flows with respect to most products...

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1. Protection for Exporters

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pp. 15-49

In this chapter, I set out an explanation for trade policy choices that favor exporting interests. My argument starts with the basic insight that under most circumstances, import competitors pushing for the protection of the domestic market dominate over exporters interested in enhanced foreign market access. In this situation, although free trade tends to be the economically most efficient policy, governments have an incentive to impose protectionist policies...

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2. Imperial Preference and the U.S. Reaction, 1932-1947

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pp. 50-82

On 17 June 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, a bill that increased U.S. trade barriers to record levels. Measured as duties collected as percentage of dutiable imports, the average tariff went up to nearly 60 percent as a result of this bill. Only four years later, Congress passed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, in which it allowed the president to engage in...

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3. Deadlock in Transatlantic Trade Negotiations, 1948-1957

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pp. 83-100

Most existing accounts of U.S. trade policies have treated the 1950s as a period of trade liberalization. The explanations given for this supposedly liberal decade stress either the position of the United States as a hegemon in the inter-national system or the role of geopolitical interests in determining U.S. trade policies. Some authors classify the United States during that time as a benevolent hegemonic power...

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4. The European Economic Community, Discrimination, and Transatlantic Trade Relations, 1958-1963

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pp. 101-130

Ending a period in which it had pursued largely protectionist trade policies, the United States undertook two major initiatives to obtain lower foreign trade barriers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. First, in 1958 Congress passed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1958 that provided the president with increased powers to engage in trade negotiations. The administration used this authority...

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5. The First Enlargement of the European Community and the U.S. Reaction

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pp. 131-158

Most existing accounts of transatlantic trade relations in the 1970s are motivated by one of two puzzles: the "mercantilist" orientation of these trade policies as compared to the more liberal policies in the previous decade, or the maintenance of a principally liberal stance in the face of adverse developments. On the one hand, some authors stress that the 1970s were a decade in which the United...

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6. The Single Market Programme and Transatlantic Trade Policies in the 1980s

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pp. 159-184

Transatlantic trade policies in the 1980s were characterized by an increasing U.S. reliance on offensive trade instruments to open European markets without providing major concessions in return. This aggressive stance, which is often summarized as the pursuit of "fair" rather than free trade policies (Goldstein 1993, 176-80; Nollen and Quinn 1994), was very prominent in the U.S. reaction to the...

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7. Competition between the European Union and the United States for Markets, 1995-2010

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pp. 185-210

Transatlantic trade relations in the 1990s and early 2000s were characterized by competition over access to the markets of emerging countries. Initially, it was mainly the EU that partly reacted to and partly anticipated U.S. initiatives when concluding preferential trade agreements with a series of countries in Latin America and Africa. At the same time, the U.S. Congress failed to pass trade legislation...

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pp. 211-222

Despite its objective importance, the process of transatlantic trade liberalization has received only scant scholarly attention. In particular, two major gaps exist in the literature on this subject. On the one hand, most existing research explains either American or European trade policies, while neglecting that for reciprocal trade liberalization to take place, both sides have to agree to trade liberalization...


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pp. 223-240


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pp. 241-246

E-ISBN-13: 9780801458545
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801448232

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 726824206
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Protection for Exporters

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Foreign economic relations -- Europe.
  • Europe -- Foreign economic relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Commercial policy.
  • Europe -- Commercial policy.
  • Free trade -- United States.
  • Free trade -- Europe.
  • Protectionism -- United States.
  • Protectionism -- Europe.
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