Fast Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations

Posted: 25 Mar 2009

See all articles by Paola Conconi

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Giovanni Facchini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)

Maurizio Zanardi

Lancaster University - Department of Economics

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Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

Fast Track Authority (FTA) is the institutional procedure in the Unites States whereby Congress grants to the President the power to negotiate international trade agreements. Under FTA, Congress can only approve or reject negotiated trade deals, with no possibility of amending them. In this paper, we examine the determinants of FTA voting decisions and the implications of this institutional procedure for trade negotiations. We describe a simple two-country trade model, in which industries are unevenly distributed across constituencies. In the foreign country, trade negotiating authority is delegated to the executive, while in the home country Congress can retain the power to amend trade agreements. We show that legislators' FTA voting behavior depends on the trade policy interests of their own constituencies as well as those of the majority of Congress. Empirical analysis of the determinants of all FTA votes between 1974 (when fast track was first introduced) and 2002 (when it was last granted) provides strong support for the predictions of our model.

Keywords: Fast Track Authority, Trade Negotiations, Strategic Delegation

JEL Classification: D72, F13

Suggested Citation

Conconi, Paola and Facchini, Giovanni and Zanardi, Maurizio, Fast Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations (April 1, 2008). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 246, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1367708

Paola Conconi (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
32 2 650 2345 (Phone)
32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Giovanni Facchini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, 20122
Italy

Maurizio Zanardi

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/zanardi/

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