Remaking U.S. Trade Policy
From Protectionism to Globalization
The emergence of globalization was neither accidental nor inevitable. To make the "free flow" of commodities, capital, and money possible, governments first had to introduce a new political infrastructure. In Remaking U.S. Trade Policy, Nitsan Chorev focuses on trade liberalization in the United States from the 1930s to the present as she explores the political origins of today's global economy.
The ability of the U.S. government to impose its preferences on other governments is an important part of the story of globalization, but what is central to Chorev's analysis is understanding why the nation's leaders supported trade liberalization in the first place. For Chorev, the explanation lies in domestic political struggles. Advocates of free trade prevailed in the struggle with protectionists by working to change the institutions governing trade policy, replacing institutional arrangements that favored protectionism with new ones that favored a free-market approach.
The new institutional arrangements shifted authority from a protectionist Congress to liberal agencies at the executive branch and to the World Trade Organization. These transformations entailed a move from a politicized location, in which direct negotiations and debates dominate the process of decision-making, to bureaucratic and judicial arenas where a legal logic dominates and the citizens have little voice.