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Constituent Interests and U.S. Trade Policies

Alan V. Deardorff and Robert M. Stern

Publication Year: 1998

The contributors to this volume, economists and political scientists from academic institutions, the private sector, and the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, came together to discuss an important topic in the formation of U.S. international trade policy: the representation of constituent interests. In the resulting volume they address the objectives of groups who participate in the policy process and examine how each group's interests are identified and promoted. They look at what means are used for these purposes, and the extent to which the groups' objectives and behavior conform to how the political economy of trade policy is treated in the economic and political science literature. Further, they discuss how effective each group has been. Each of the book's five parts offers a coherent view of important components of the topic. Part I provides an overview of the normative and political economy approaches to the modeling of trade policies. Part 2 discusses the context of U.S. trade policies. Part 3 deals with the role of sectoral producing interests, including the relationship of trade policy to auto, steel, textile, semiconductor, aircraft, and financial services. Part 4 examines other constituent interests, including the environment, human rights, and the media. Part 5 provides commentary on such issues as the challenges that trade policy poses for the new administration and the 105th Congress. The volume ultimately offers important and more finely articulated questions on how trade policy is formed and implemented. Contributors are Robert E. Baldwin, Jagdish Bhagwati, Douglas A. Brook, Richard O. Cunningham, Jay Culbert, Alan V. Deardorff, I. M. Destler, Daniel Esty, Geza Feketekuty, Harry Freeman, John D. Greenwald, Gene Grossman, Richard L. Hall, Jutta Hennig, John H. Jackson, James A. Levinsohn, Mustafa Mohatarem, Robert Pahre, Richard C. Porter, Gary R. Saxonhouse, Robert E. Scott, T. N. Srinivasan, Robert M. Stern, Joe Stroud, John Sweetland, Raymond Waldmann, Marina v.N. Whitman, and Bruce Wilson. Alan V. Deardorff and Robert M. Stern are Professors of Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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Keynote Address, Foster Library, November 8, 1996

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pp. 1-5

In addressing this group-as distinguished and as talented as it is-I am reminded of President Kennedy's remark before a group of Nobel prize laureates in the East Room of the White House, "There has not been so much talent in this room since Thomas Jefferson dined alone." I have been most impressed with the clarity of the papers presented and the vigor of the discussion at the...

Part I. Introduction and Overview

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1. Introduction

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pp. 9-27

This volume contains the papers and comments that were commissioned for "Representation of Constituent Interests in the Design and Implementation of U.S. Trade Policies: The Sweetland Conference," a conference held in Ann Arbor on November 8-9, 1996. This conference served a dual purpose. First, it helped us to sharpen the focus of an ongoing project of research and policy...

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2. An Overview of the Modeling of the Choices and Consequences of U.S. Trade Policies

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pp. 29-61

Our paper is designed to provide the context for the theme of the conference, which is ''The Representation of Constituent Interests in the Design and Implementation of U.S. Trade Policies." In Section II, we first review the normative and political economy approaches to the modeling of trade policies. The normative approach is the basis for the traditional analysis of the welfare effects of trade...

Part II. The Context of U.S. Trade Policies

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3. U.S. Trade Policies: The Role of the Executive Branch

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pp. 65-91

Prior to the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934, tariff levels were set by Congress under its constitutional power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations." In granting the president authority under this Act to decrease (or increase) import duties up to 50 percent from their 1930 levels as part of foreign trade agreements with other countries, Congress undertook an institutional...

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4. Congress, Constituencies, and U.S. Trade Policy

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pp. 93-119

Much of the literature on Congress and trade has established, beyond reasonable doubt, the responsiveness of individual members to constituent interests concentrated within their districts, and to the national extensions of such interests. Connections to organized labor, for example, were reliable predictors of votes on domestic content legislation for automobiles in 1983, or...

Part III. Sectoral Producing Interests: Industry/Labor

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5. Trade Policy and the U.S. Auto Industry: Intended and Unintended Consequences

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pp. 123-132

The U.S. auto industry has been at the center of the domestic debate on whether to protect domestic manufacturing from foreign competition since at least the mid-1970s when imported automobiles first began to make significant inroads into the U.S. market. The key players in the debate have been: the "Big Three" U.S.-owned auto manufacturers; the United Auto Workers...

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6. Steel: Trade Policy in a Changed Environment

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pp. 133-144

Today, the steel industry of the United States is in a trade policy environment unlike any it has experienced in the past three decades. Restructured, modernized, and price and quality competitive, U.S. steel no longer seeks or enjoys industry-specific protection. Anti-Dumping (AD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD) laws have become, for the steel industry, the quid pro quo for free...

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7. U.S. Trade Policies for the Textile and Apparel Industries: The Political Economy of the Post-MFA Environment

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pp. 145-160

Textiles and apparel have received the highest levels of persistent, long-term protection afforded to any U.S. manufactured products in the post-World Warn era. The first cotton textile quotas were negotiated with Japan in 1937 (Finger and Harris 1996, p. 205) and the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA), which ultimately replaced these quotas, will be in effect for another 10 years under...

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8. The Representation of Economic Interests in U.S. Semiconductor Trade Policy

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pp. 161-172

The U.S. semiconductor industry does not neatly fit the standard model of an import-competing sector that presses the government for relief from foreign competition. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), for example, led a successful push in the early 1980s to eliminate all tariffs on semiconductor products entering the United States and...

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9. U.S. Trade Policy vis-a-vis the Aircraft Industry

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pp. 173-181

As one of the nation's top exporters, The Boeing Company is vitally concerned with the design and implementation of U.S. trade policies. Sales to international customers generate over half of Boeing's total commercial revenues. However, we face vigorous competition for these customers from government- supported competitors. In the past twelve years, two...

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10. The Role of Constituents in U.S. Policy Development towards Trade in Financial Services

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pp. 183-197

This paper will principally address trade in financial services, with particular emphasis on negotiations in the GATT and subsequently in the World Trade organization (WTO). Particular reference will be made towards constituent interests and their role in policy development. To understand the present situation, as of mid-October, 1996, one must understand some of the origins of the...

Part IV. Other Constituent Interests

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11. Environmentalists and Trade Policy making

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pp. 201-223

Until the 1990s, environmental groups played almost no role in trade policymaking. Their emergence on the trade scene has produced discomfort and even hostility. This reaction, while perhaps understandable, is misplaced. In the first part of this chapter, I discuss the objectives, activities, and effectiveness of environmental non-government organizations (NOOs!) in trade policymaking. In...

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12. Trade and Human Rights

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pp. 225-262

The use, or threat of use, of trade policy instruments to ensure that human rights are respected by governments of partner countries is not new. The most notable instance, of course, of multilateral trade sanctions to punish and eliminate the violation of human rights was against the South African government's apartheid policies. Clearly the collapse of the apartheid regime has been...

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13. Trade Law and Trade Policy: The Advocate's Perspective

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pp. 263-297

In most of the literature on trade policy, the principal focus is on major trade matters-import relief cases in particular, but also market access cases and various types of bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Typically, the author will characterize the outcome of each such matter as a trade policy decision and will, in effect, see an administration's "trade policy" as being revealed by...

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14. Trade Policy and the Media

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pp. 299-309

I chose nearly four decades ago to be a journalist, rather than to continue with graduate school and become a history teacher, because I wanted to be a generalist. Have I ever been a generalist! I do care about trade and the making of trade policy, but I must say it's hard work to do an intellectually respectable job of keeping up with it, translating it into understandable terms and yet not...

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15. Constituent Representation: Exploring the Context of the Key Policy Questions, Some Preliminary Observations

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pp. 311-316

This conference is in many ways an intriguing juxtaposition of the analytical techniques of economists and political scientists, and some particularly interesting observations of practitioners who have been confronted with specific circumstances of their tasks. I would like to try to present a tentative view of a somewhat broader perspective for this material, and suggest some...

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16. U.S. Trade and Trade Policy: Challenges for the New Administration

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pp. 317-322

However spotty its overall record may appear to trade-policy purists, the first Clinton administration presided over the completion and ratification of two major trade-liberalizing agreements: the Uruguay Round of multilateral negotiations which established the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The second Clinton...

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17. Trade and the 105th Congress: Overview

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pp. 323-326

Trade will continue to be an active topic in the 105th Congress. However, with passage of the Omnibus Trade Act of 1988, NAFTA in 1993, and the Uruguay Round implementing legislation in 1994, the basic structure of U.S. law is well established for the foreseeable future. It is unlikely that there will be serious efforts in the 105th Congress to pass comprehensive trade legislation to alter...

Contributors and Conference Participants

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pp. 327-330


E-ISBN-13: 9780472023387
E-ISBN-10: 0472023381
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472109326
Print-ISBN-10: 0472109324

Page Count: 344
Illustrations: 7 drawings, 8 tables
Publication Year: 1998

Series Title: Studies in International Economics

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Commercial policy -- Congresses.
  • Pressure groups -- United States -- Congresses.
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