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  • Trading Blows

  • Trading

  • BlowsParty Competition and

    U.S. Trade Policy in a

    Globalizing Era

    james shoch

    The University of North Carolina Press

    Chapel Hill and London

  • 2001 The University of North Carolina Press

    All rights reserved

    Manufactured in the United States of America

    The paper in this book meets the guidelines for

    permanence and durability of the Committee on

    Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the

    Council on Library Resources.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Shoch, James.

    Trading blows : party competition and U.S. trade

    policy in a globalizing era / James Shoch.

    p. cm.

    Includes bibliographical references and index.

    isbn 0-8078-2646-4 (cloth: alk. paper)

    isbn 0-8078-4975-8 (pbk.: alk. paper)

    1. United StatesCommercial policy. 2. Free trade

    Political aspectsUnited States. 3. Political parties

    United States. I. Title.

    hf1455.s54 2001



    05 04 03 02 01 5 4 3 2 1

  • For Barbara, of course,

    and my parents,

    Gertrude Shoch and

    the late David Shoch


  • Contents

    Preface ix

    Introduction 1

    1 Parties and Trade Policy: A Theoretical Framework 11

    2 Trade Policy and Party Politics from the Civil War to 1980 47

    3 The First Reagan Administration:

    Democratic Pressure and White House Retreat 71

    4 Partisanship Heats Up:

    The Trade Policy Explosion of 19851986 94

    5 The One-hundredth Congress:

    Trade Legislation and Presidential Politics 116

    6 The Bush Years: Opening Japan, Negotiating nafta 137

    7 Clintons First Two Years in Oce:

    Trade Activism on All Fronts 161

    8 Trade Liberalization Grinds to a Halt, 19951998 198

    9 Trade Liberalization Set Back Again, Then Renewed?:

    The Battle in Seattle and pntr with China 227

    Conclusion 255

  • viii cont en t s


    figure a.1 Tari Levels and Major Trade

    Acts by Partisan Control, 18201990 274

    figure a.2 Percentage of Party Members

    Voting for Freer Trade, 18701994 277

    figure a.3 Party Cohesion on Trade Votes

    in Congress, 18701994 278

    figure a.4 Percentage of Promarket

    Votes Cast by Members of Congress on

    Trade and All Issues, 19851994 280

    figure a.5 Dierence in Promarket Ratings

    between Republicans and Democrats on Trade

    and All Issues, 19851994 281

    Notes 283

    Index 377

  • Preface

    This book, the first of its kind on the recent partisan politics of U.S. trade

    policy, has been a long time in the making. It has its origins in my years as an ac-

    tivist in the early and mid-1980s, when many of us on the Left debated how to

    advance our cause through the vehicle of the Democratic Party. These were

    years of soaring trade deficits and deindustrialization; thus one important

    area of concern to us was the Democrats stance on trade and industrial policy.

    The 1980s were hard on the Left, so in 1987 I decided to go to graduate school

    in the hope that if I could not change the world, I might at least better under-

    stand it. But I took my obsession with American party politics with me. As I

    searched for a dissertation topic, it appeared clear to me that party competition

    was to a significant degree driving U.S. trade policy, which at that time was

    focused on combating the mounting Japanese challenge, yet few scholars had

    noticed this. So I wrote a thesis on the party politics of American economic

    nationalism in the 1980s. Of course, the subsequent rise of concern over

    economic globalization and the great free-trade battles of the 1990s forced me

    to include analysis of these issues as I worked to turn my thesis into a book.

    Writing on this topic was thus like trying to hit a fast-moving target, and this

    slowed production of the manuscript.

    The book was also delayed as I struggled both to grasp the fields of American

    politics and international political economy and to find my own scholarly

    voice through an integration of the heterodox political-economic views of my

    activist days with the more conventional political science that I absorbed in

    graduate school. Whether I have succeeded in producing the synthesis that I

    was searching for is up to the reader to decide.

    For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, the writing of this book has been a

    somewhat more solitary process than I had expected. Perhaps this is in part

    because the project falls so squarely between two fields. Still, I have received

  • x pre fac e

    indispensable professional and personal support along the way from a host of

    colleagues and friends, including Joanne Barkan, Suzanne Berger, Bill Bern-

    hard, Fran Bernstein, Fred Block, Michael Bodaken, David Brady, Mlada Buko-

    vansky, Andrew Bundy, Walter Dean Burnham, John Campbell, Jim Cronin,

    Kathy Donald, Barbara Fasher, Laura Frader, Amy Glasmeier, Peter Hall, Karen

    Hansen, Dave Hart, Chris Howard, Carole Ivin, Jane Jenson, Dave Kang, Elliott

    Lehman, Frances Lehman, Andy Martin, Cathie Martin, Jim Murphy, Tom

    Nichols, Ken Oye, Fran Piven, David Plotke, Andy Polsky, Darsie Riccio, Mark

    Ritchie, George Ross, Kay Schlozman, Stanley Schlozman, Joe Schwartz, Cath-

    erine Shapiro, Ken Sharpe, Gordon Silverstein, Bob Skomro, Dean Spiliotes,

    Charles Stewart III, Suzi Teegarden, Ruy Teixeira, Lowell Turner, Rick Valelly,

    Dirk Vandewalle, Margaret Weir, and Howie Winant.

    I was assisted at various stages of this project by a number of diligent research

    assistants, the most outstanding of whom were Erin Green, Amy Semet, and

    Tamar Tal. At the University of North Carolina Press, I have had the good

    fortune to work with several fine (and patient!) editors, including Lew Bateman

    (before his departure), Kate Torrey, Paula Wald, and my crack copyeditor,

    Stevie Champion.

    My biggest debt, however, is to the members of my most nontraditional

    family who have provided me with unstinting support over the years: my

    stepson Toby Gabriner, my daughter-in-law Mara Hook, and Tobys other

    parents Bob Gabriner and Eileen Goldman; my sister-in-law Margaret Baran;

    my nephew and niece Ben and Rebecca Rees; my father- and mother-in-law,

    Saul and Betty Baran; my brother John Shoch and my other sister-in-law Sheree

    Shoch; and, of course, my parents: my mother, Gertrude Shoch, and my late

    and much-missed father, David Shoch, who would have taken immense pride

    in this book, as he did in (almost!) all my accomplishments.

    There is one person, though, to whom I owe everything: my wife and partner

    for virtually my whole adult life, Barbara Baran. Not only has she stuck with me

    through stunningly dierent and sometimes dicult phases of our lives; she

    also took precious time from her own demanding work to expertly edit my

    unmanageably long manuscript down to an almost readable length. As I write

    this I do not know where our lives will take us next, but I do know that we will

    make the journey together.

  • Trading Blows


  • Introduction

    Since the late 1970s, and for the third time in the past one hundred years, the

    world has witnessed a major wave of economic globalizationof trade, pro-

    duction, and finance. During this period, as both imports and exports grew as

    proportions of American national wealth creation, trade policy in particular

    was often forced to the top of the daily economic headlines and to the forefront

    of American political debate.

    During the quarter-century-long golden age that followed World War II,

    the U.S. position as the worlds dominant economic power allowed a succession

    of American governments to take the lead in promoting multilateral trade

    liberalization. But by the late 1960s, American firms found themselves in-

    creasingly challenged in domestic and global markets by Japanese and Western

    European producers, whose war-devastated home economies had been rebuilt.

    The resulting protectionist pressures were largely contained in the 1970s by the

    decline in the value of the dollar in the early part of the decade. But the soaring

    dollar of the first half of the 1980s combined with preexisting problems of

    competitiveness to produce an explosion of the U.S. trade deficit. Imports

    surged, especially from Japan and other newly industrializing East Asian coun-

    tries, and exports sagged, contributing to the erosion of the nations core mass

    production industries. This prompted widespread fears of deindustrializa-

    tion and new demands for a tougher trade policy.

    Much of this pressure in the early and mid-1980s was directed toward curb-

    ing the rising tide of imports. While various bills to limit the import of specific

    products either never passed both houses of Congress or were vetoed by Presi-

    dent Ronald Reagan, a number of significant voluntary restraint and other

    agreements were reached with fo

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