Free Trade Agreements and US Foreign Policy

Hundt, David 2015, Free Trade Agreements and US Foreign Policy, Pacific focus, vol. 30, no. 2, August, pp. 151-172.

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Title Free Trade Agreements and US Foreign Policy
Author(s) Hundt, DavidORCID iD for Hundt, David
Journal name Pacific focus
Volume number 30
Issue number 2
Season August
Start page 151
End page 172
Total pages 22
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Inchon, Korea
Publication date 2015-08-01
ISSN 1225-4657
Keyword(s) foreign economic policy
United States
free trade agreements
Summary The United States has completed numerous free trade agreements (FTAs), but the pattern of these agreements defies conventional explanations. Arguments that are based on domestic interests and economic gains cannot explain the comparative under-performance of US trade agreements. The pattern of US trade agreements is also inconsistent with explanations that focus on state power, which depict FTAs as a “reward” for loyal clients. This article finds a better explanation for the pattern of the United States’ FTAs by consideringthe systemic level of analysis, and in particular the dynamics of the international economic order. It illustrates that strong competition for bilateral trade agreements has resulted in patterns of agreements that the United States cannot easily dominate. This is not to say that the United States has no capacity to finalize trade agreements: the United States remains the world’s most influential nation-state, but the constraints of the international system necessarily limit the degree to which FTAs can serve the interests of US foreign economic policy. The recent evolution of international trade politics, however, indicates that smaller states are comparatively less vulnerable to pressure from great powers, such as the United States.
Language eng
Field of Research 160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
160607 International Relations
Socio Economic Objective 940304 International Political Economy (excl. International Trade)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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