The Challenges of Trade Policymaking: Analysis, Communication and Representation

Policy Issues in International Trade and Commodities Study Series

47 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2008 Last revised: 10 Oct 2008

See all articles by Craig VanGrasstek

Craig VanGrasstek

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper examines the challenges posed by trade policymaking for all countries, especially developing countries. The task has become vastly more complicated in recent decades. Those complications stem primarily from an expanding view of what is tradeable and, therefore, what topics fall within the scope of trade policy. At the same time that the issue base of the trading system has expanded, so has the range of instruments that countries can negotiate; bilateral and regional options are proliferating. The net result is that the issues in trade policy are now analytically more challenging, policymaking requires that trade ministries engage in active communication with a much wider range of public entities and private interests and they must be prepared to engage in multiple and concurrent negotiations in a variety of forums. This paper analyses these problems, including empirical data on the form and extent of countries' representation in Geneva and a case study on how the United States deals with these challenges. It makes recommendations for research in individual countries in order to pinpoint the problems that they face and review potential responses.

Keywords: Trade policy, trade negotiations, World Trade Organization, developing countries

JEL Classification: F13, F14, F53, O19

Suggested Citation

VanGrasstek, Craig, The Challenges of Trade Policymaking: Analysis, Communication and Representation (May 1, 2008). Policy Issues in International Trade and Commodities Study Series, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1278022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1278022

Craig VanGrasstek (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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