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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.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/137521.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Publication status: Published in: American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (2012) v.4,p.146-189
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/137521
Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
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  27. Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri, 2001. "Strategic Delegation: An Experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 352-68, Summer.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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