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

Resisting the protectionist temptation: industry and the making of trade policy in France and the United States during the 1970s

Listed author(s):
  • Milner, Helen
Registered author(s):

    Why were advanced industrial states able to keep their economies relatively open to foreign trade in the 1970s and the early 1980s, despite declining U.S. hegemony and increasing economic difficulties? This article argues that an international-level change affected domestic trade politics and contributed to the maintenance of a liberal trading system. Examining the United States and France, the argument proceeds in two steps, showing first how domestic trade politics were changed and second how this change affected the policy process. Initially, I argue that aspects of the increased international economic interdependence of the postwar period altered domestic trade politics by creating new, anti-protectionist preferences among certain firms. Firms with extensive international ties through exports, multinational production, and global intra-firm trade have come to oppose protectionism, since it is very costly for them. Evidence for these new preferences was apparent among both American and French industries. Despite different contexts, firms in the two countries reacted similarly to the growth of interdependence. Next, I ask whether firms' preferences affected trade policy outcomes and show how these preferences were integrated into the policy process in both countries. Trade policy structures in neither country prevented firms' preferences from affecting the policies adopted. Even in France, a so-called “strong” state, firms' preferences were a key influence on policy. In the trade policy area then, the French and American states did not appear to differ greatly in their susceptibility to industry influence, even though their policy processes were different.

    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:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

    Volume (Year): 41 (1987)
    Issue (Month): 04 (September)
    Pages: 639-665

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:41:y:1987:i:04:p:639-665_02
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK

    Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:41:y:1987:i:04:p:639-665_02. 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: (Keith Waters)

    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.