Cooperation or Confrontation in U.S.-Japan Trade? Some General Equilibrium Estimates
Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 119-129, June 1999
Posted: 5 Apr 2005
Using a detailed calibrated general equilibrium model, we evaluate the effects of greater cooperation or confrontation in bilateral trade relations between the U.S. and Japan. Our numerical results indicate that, if a trade war between the two were precipitated, the U.S. would eventually benefit from the mutual imposition of reciprocally optimal tariffs. While this result appears negative for those who advocate free trade, it provides the key to overcoming an important incentive problem of liberalization. Specifically, we find that Japan gains more from U.S. unilateral liberalization than from bilateral liberalization and thus has an incentive to limit its commitment to removing trade barriers. Since the U.S. has a credible threat of retaliation, however, it can bargain with Japan to implement bilateral cooperation. In other words, the strategic environment is neither completely harmonious nor discordant. A credible threat of confrontation can secure the basis of cooperation.
Keywords: US-Japan trade, trade war, trade liberalization, applied general equilibrium model
JEL Classification: F13, F14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation