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Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations

  • Paola Conconi
  • Giovanni Facchini
  • Maurizio Zanardi

We develop a simple model of trade relations in which legislators with different stakes in import-competing and export industries decide whether to grant fast-track authority (FTA) to the president, giving up the power to amend international trade agreements. We show that strategic delegation motives are key to understanding FTA votes, which involve a decision between alternative country representatives: the executive or the majority in Congress. We then examine the determinants of all votes by US congressmen on FTA since the introduction of this institutional procedure in 1974. Our empirical analysis provides strong support for the predictions of the model. (JEL D72, F12, F13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.4.3.146
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 146-89

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:146-89
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.3.146
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," NBER Working Papers 4280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas A. Irwin, 1997. "From Smoot-Hawley to Reciprocal Trade Agreements: Changing the Course of U.S. Trade Policy in the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 5895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Working Paper Series rwp06-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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  7. Magee, Christopher, 2001. "Administered protection for workers: an analysis of the trade adjustment assistance program," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 105-125, February.
  8. Christian Broda & Nuno Limão & David Weinstein, 2006. "Optimal Tariffs: The Evidence," NBER Working Papers 12033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2100, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Karol, David, 2000. "Divided Government and U.S.Trade Policy: Much Ado About Nothing?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 825-844, September.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," NBER Working Papers 11014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jones, Stephen R. G., 1989. "Have your lawyer call my lawyer : Bilateral delegation in bargaining situations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 159-174, March.
  15. Segendorff, Bjorn, 1998. "Delegation and Threat in Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 266-283, May.
  16. Lohmann, Susanne & O'Halloran, Sharyn, 1994. "Divided government and U.S. trade policy: theory and evidence," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 595-632, September.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 119-144, Spring.
  18. Putnam, Robert D., 1988. "Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 427-460, June.
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