Conflict Amid Consensus in American Trade Policy
by Martha L. Gibson
Georgetown University Press, 2000
Paper: 978-0-87840-794-1
Library of Congress Classification HF1455.G48 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 382.30973


Americans have witnessed inconsistent and seemingly dramatic turnabouts in legislators' attitudes toward trade, with strong bipartisan support for free trade and the Uruguay Round in one instant and heated debate over participation in the World Trade Organization the next. Martha L. Gibson systematically traces the competing forces that interject conflict into an overall consensus on the value of a liberalized trade policy.

Cutting through the tangled web of congressional politics, Gibson shows why it is impossible to understand trade legislation without first understanding how electoral politics and the institutional rules of Congress distort legislators' interests, incentives, and policy goals. Gibson's book clearly shows that trade legislation is not made in a vacuum but is just one in a series of simultaneous games with competing goals in which legislators engage to satisfy the conflicting demands of constituents.

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