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Fast Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations

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  • Conconi, Paola
  • Facchini, Giovanni
  • Zanardi, Maurizio

Abstract

Fast Track Authority (FTA) is the institutional procedure in the Unites States whereby Congress grants to the President the power to negotiate international trade agreements. Under FTA, Congress can only approve or reject negotiated trade deals, with no possibility of amending them. In this paper, we examine the determinants of FTA voting decisions and the implications of this institutional procedure for trade negotiations. We describe a simple two-country trade model, in which industries are unevenly distributed across constituencies. In the foreign country, trade negotiating authority is delegated to the executive, while in the home country Congress can retain the power to amend trade agreements. We show that legislators’ FTA voting behavior depends on the trade policy interests of their own constituencies as well as those of the majority of Congress. Empirical analysis of the determinants of all FTA votes between 1974 (when fast track was first introduced) and 2002 (when it was last granted) provides strong support for the predictions of our model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6790.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6790

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Keywords: Fast Track Authority; Strategic Delegation; Trade Negotiations;

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Cited by:
  1. Steinhardt, Max & Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "The political economy of trade and migration:Evidence from the U.S. Congress," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79961, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Lake, James & Millimet, Daniel L., 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Trade-Related Redistribution and the Political Viability of Free Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 8086, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Barbara Dluhosch & Nikolai Ziegler, 2011. "The paradox of weakness in the politics of trade integration," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 325-354, December.
  4. Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2011. "Policymakers' Horizon and Trade Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Facchini, Giovanni & Silva, Peri & Willmann, Gerald, 2012. "The Customs Union issue: Why do we observe so few of them?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2013. "Federalism with Bicameralism," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_01.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  7. Fugazza, Marco & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2010. "The 'Emulator Effect' of the Uruguay Round on US Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 7703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini & Cora Signorotto, 2013. "Mind What Your Voters Read: Media Exposure and International Economic Policy Making," Development Working Papers 358, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.

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