Ideas, Interests, and American Trade Policy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)

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9780801499883: Ideas, Interests, and American Trade Policy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)

To citizens and political analysts alike, United States trade law is an incoherent conglomeration of policies, both liberal and protectionist. Seeking to understand the contradictions in American policy, Judith Goldstein offers the first book to demonstrate the impact of the political past on today's trade decisions. As she traces the history of trade agreements from the antebellum era through the 1980s, she addresses a fundamental question: What effects do shared ideas about economics - as opposed to national power or individual self-interest - have on the institutions that make and enforce trade law?
Goldstein argues that successful ideas become embedded in institutions and typically outlive the time during which they served social interests. She sets the stage with a discussion of the shifting commercial policy of the first half of the nineteenth century. After examining the consequences of the Republican Party's decision to promote high tariffs between 1870 and 1930, she then considers in detail the political aftermath of the Great Depression, when the Democratic party settled on a reciprocal trade platform. Because the Democrats did not completely dismantle the existing system, however, the combined legacies of protection and openness help examine the intricacies in the forms of protectionism that political leaders have advocated since World War II.
Readers in such fields as political science, political economy, policy studies and law, international relations, and American history will welcome Ideas, Interests, and American Trade Policy.

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About the Author:

Judith Goldstein is Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

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