IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

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

in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:146-89
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.3.146
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2001. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in Multilateral Negotiations," CESifo Working Paper Series 601, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," NBER Working Papers 4280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
  5. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2005. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 5238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Fershtman, C & Gneezy, U, 1996. "Strategic Delegation : An Experiment," Papers 43-96, Tel Aviv.
  7. Baldwin, Robert E & Magee, Christopher S, 2000. "Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 79-101, October.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Segendorff, Bjorn, 1998. "Delegation and Threat in Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 266-283, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Broda, Christian & Limão, Nuno & Weinstein, David E., 2006. "Optimal Tariffs: The Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 5540, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Katz, Michael L., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt79b870w0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra, 1997. "U.S. Exports, 1972-1994: With State Exports and Other U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 5990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
  16. Blonigen, Bruce A & Figlio, David N, 1998. "Voting for Protection: Does Direct Foreign Investment Influence Legislator Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1002-14, September.
  17. Hiscox, Michael J., 1999. "The Magic Bullet? The RTAA, Institutional Reform, and Trade Liberalization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(04), pages 669-698, September.
  18. 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.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra, 1996. "U.S. Imports, 1972-1994: Data and Concordances," NBER Working Papers 5515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  21. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1239-1282.
  22. Jeffrey J. Schott, 2010. "KORUS FTA 2.0: Assessing the Changes," Policy Briefs PB10-28, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  23. 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.
  24. Muthoo, Abhinay, 1996. "A Bargaining Model Based on the Commitment Tactic," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 134-152, April.
  25. 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.
  26. Rosendorff, B.P. & Milner, H., 1995. "Democratic Politics and International Trade Negociations: Elections and Divided Government as Constraints on Trade Liberalization," Papers 9511, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  27. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2002. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in International Negotiations," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5839, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  28. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Levy, Philip I., 1999. "Lobbying and international cooperation in tariff setting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 345-370, April.
  32. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations (AEJ:EP 2012) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:146-89. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.