International Trade Policy under George W. Bush

Nitsan Chorev

in Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780748627400
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671946 | DOI:
International Trade Policy under George W. Bush

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George W. Bush came to office with an ambitious free trade agenda but without clear congressional support for it. Initially, the Bush administration engaged in a great flurry of activity, including successfully launching a new round of multilateral trade negotiations for the United States. By 2008, however, hardly any progress had been made at the multilateral negotiations, and other relatively ambitious regional plans failed to materialise. This chapter shows that what made it difficult for the Bush administration to advance its version of trade liberalisation was Congress's unprecedented opportunity to make its voice heard. In particular, the Bush administration's handling of multilateral trade negotiations during his first years in office had the unintended consequence of providing Congress the means to play a relatively active role in international trade policy in later years, making the Bush administration relatively vulnerable to Congress's position. It also discusses the Bush administration's restrained unilateralism, preference for bilateralism over multilateralism, and regional and bilateral trade agreements.

Keywords: George W. Bush; United States; Congress; multilateral trade negotiations; trade liberalisation; trade policy; international trade; unilateralism; bilateralism; trade agreements

Chapter.  6349 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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