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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 4 No. 3 (August 2012)

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Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations

Article Citation

Conconi, Paola, Giovanni Facchini, and Maurizio Zanardi. 2012. "Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(3): 146-89.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.3.146

Abstract

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. (JEL D72, F12, F13)

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Authors

Conconi, Paola (ECARES, Free U Brussels)
Facchini, Giovanni (Erasmus U Rotterdam and U Milan)
Zanardi, Maurizio (ECARES, Free U Brussels)

JEL Classifications

D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
F12: Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies
F13: Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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