Trade policy of a free trade agreement in the presence of foreign lobbying
This paper studies the effect of foreign lobbies on trade policy of a country which is a member of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). It uses a monopolistically competitive political economy model in which the government determines external tariffs endogenously. The effect of foreign lobbying under the FTA is examined empirically using Canadian industry-level trade data that allow differentiating of lobby groups by the country of origin. The analysis suggests that the presence of foreign lobbying has a significant effect on the domestic trade policy. The heterogeneity of foreign lobbies is also important: the presence of an organized lobbying group in an FTA partner country tends to raise trade barriers while an organized lobbying group of exporters from outside of the FTA is associated with less protection.
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