The Common External Tariff in a Customs Union: Voting, Logrolling, and National Government Interests
Missing from the analysis of customs unions has been a consideration of collective decisionmaking by countries regarding the union’s common trade policy. In the case of the common European external tariff, how governments voted was not public information. This paper uses a unique dataset to derive member states’ tariff preferences, which are then used to establish the decision rule before 1987, when individual governments had veto power. Results indicate a principle of unanimity, as well as the presence of logrolling. The political equilibrium for the common external tariff is also illustrated to have shifted as a result of union enlargements.
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