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Download e-book for iPad: America's Trade Policy Towards Japan: Demanding Results by John Kunkel

By John Kunkel

ISBN-10: 0415298326

ISBN-13: 9780415298322

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Additional info for America's Trade Policy Towards Japan: Demanding Results (Routledge Advances in International Political Economy, 11)

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3 An American trade policy regime crisis The first half of the 1980s was marked by a crisis in the institutions, laws and norms that had oriented US trade policy since 1934 – a crisis in the 1934 regime. The US trade deficit ballooned, a sharp rise in US protection threatened to undermine fifty years of trade liberalisation, Congress took on a more activist policy role, and America’s post-war commitment to process-oriented multilateralism in its trade relations was significantly weakened. Explaining the evolution of US market access policy towards Japan requires an understanding of this broader crisis in the American trade policy regime.

Change in US trade policy is understood as a product of political-economic circumstance and the choices of actors in a policy community (Heclo 1974). Advocacy coalitions include both state and non-state actors. The important role of state actors within advocacy coalitions, and the extent to which legal and institutional authority are critical resources in the policy process, reinforces the contrast with society-centred pluralism. At the same time, the diverse array of non-state actors in the American trade policy community (from societal interest groups to policy experts and journalists) makes for a more open and fluid perspective of the policy process than implied by state-centred approaches or tightly structured ‘iron triangle’ models (Heclo 1978; Kingdon 1984; Hall 1993).

The capacity of state actors to exploit cross-cutting societal pressures, to actively build coalitions of support for particular policies, and to act as the ultimate source of policy authority weakens the claims of a society-centred approach. 20 Explaining US trade policy The significance of institutional variables can be illustrated via effects on the configuration of group interests and the incentives for group action. 8 Prior to the RTAA, trade was defined politically as a ‘distributive issue’.

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America's Trade Policy Towards Japan: Demanding Results (Routledge Advances in International Political Economy, 11) by John Kunkel

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