Pop-up English-Chinese

Ideas, preferences and strategic choices in US trade policymaking

XIA Min1

(1.School of International Studies, Renmin University of China)

【Abstract】Most scholars believe that economic interests are the main factor influencing a country’s trade policymaking. However, this article argues that the evolution of ideas should be a key variable in studying the current trade policy adjustments of the US as Trump administration’s trade policy reflects a marked departure from policy stances of his predecessors. Three levels of ideas, including worldview, principle-based belief and causality, play an important role in the formulation of US trade policy by influencing the trade preferences of the US public and the strategic choices of its policymakers. This article helps understand the root causes of the current trade war between China and the US. To alleviate the ongoing Sino-US economic confrontation, it is inadequate for China to take economic countermeasures since the evolution of ideas will undermine the effectiveness of those economic measures. How to position itself in the current world system and how to disperse other countries’ confusion about and misunderstanding of its economic rise will be crucial for China’s future economic relations with the rest of the world.

【Keywords】 the US; trade policy; ideas; preferences; strategic choices;

【DOI】

【Funds】 Research Project of “Building a World-Class Discipline (Politics)” at School of International Relations, Renmin University of China

Download this article

    Footnote

    [1]. [1] E. E. Schattschneider, Politics, Pressures and the Tariff, New York: Prentice-Hall, 1935. [^Back]

    [2]. [2] Robert Baldwin, The Political Economy of U.S.Import Policy, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985; see also Lewis Anthony Dexter, American Business and Public Policy: The Politics of Foreign Trade, Chicago: Aldine, 1983. [^Back]

    [3]. [1] R. Findlay and Stanislaw Wellisz, “Endogenous Tariffs and the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions and Welfare”, in Jagdish Bhagwagti, ed., Import Competition and Response, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982. [^Back]

    [4]. [2] W. Mayer, “Endogenous Tariff Formation”, American Economic Review, 1984, 74: 970–985. [^Back]

    [5]. [3] Jin, C. The Chinese Journal of American Studies (美国研究), (2): 16–18 (2000); Li, S. & Shen, X. Teaching and Research (教学与研究), (5): 82–84 (2009). [^Back]

    [6]. [4] A. L. Hillman, “Declining Industries and Political Support Protectionist Motives”, American Economic Review, 1982, 72: 1180–1187. [^Back]

    [7]. [5] A. Hillman and Heinrich W. Ursprung, “Domestic Politics, Foreign Interests, and International Trade Policy”, American Economic Review, 1988, 72: 769–783. [^Back]

    [8]. [6] Tu, X. The Chinese Journal of American Studies (美国研究), (4): 75 (2007). [^Back]

    [9]. [7] Robert O. Keohane and Joseph Nye, Power and Interdependence, Boston: Little, Brown, 1977; and Stephen Krasner, “State Power and the Structure of International Trade”, World Politics, 1976, 28: 317–47. [^Back]

    [10]. [1] Tian, Y. World Economics and Politics (世界经济与政治), (6): 65–67 (2013). [^Back]

    [11]. [2] John S. Odell, U.S. International Monetary Policy: Markets, Power and Ideas as Sources of Change, Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1982; Judith Goldstein, “Ideas, Institutions, and American Trade Policy”, International Organization, 1988, 42: 197–217; Judith Goldstein, “The Impact of Ideas on Trade Policy: The Origins of U.S. Agricultural and Manufacturing Policies”, International Organization, 1989, 43: 31–71. [^Back]

    [12]. [3] Ernst B. Haas, “Why Collaborate?”, World Politics, 1980, 32: 357–405; Robert L. Rothstein, “Consensual Knowledge and International Collaboration”, International Organization, 1984, 38: 732–62. [^Back]

    [13]. [4] Paul Egon Rohrlich, “Economic Culture and Foreign Policy: The Cognitive Analysis of Economic Policy Making”, International Organization, 1987, 41: 61–92. [^Back]

    [14]. [5] John S. Odell, U.S. Monetary Policy: Markets, Power and Ideas as Sources of Change, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982. [^Back]

    [15]. [1] Martin S. Edwards, “Public Opinion Regarding Economic and Cultural Globalization: Evidence from a Cross-National Survey”, Review of International Political Economy, 2006, 13: 587–608; Edward D. Mansfield, and Diana C. Mutz, “Support for Free Trade: Self-Interest, Sociotropic Politics, and Out-Group Anxiety”, International Organization, 2009, 63: 425–57; David M. Rankin, “Identities, Interests, and Imports”, Political Behavior, 2001, 23: 351–76. [^Back]

    [16]. [2] Goldstein, J. & Keohane, R. Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change. Liu, D. & Yu, G. (trans.) Beijing: Peking University Press, 8–11 (2005). [^Back]

    [17]. [1] Deborah Schild Kraut, “Boundaries of America Identity: Evolving Understandings of ‘US, ”Annual Review of Political Science, 2014, 17: 441–460; John E. Transue, “Identity Salience, Identity Acceptance, and Racial Policy Attitudes: American National Identity as a Uniting Force”, American Journal of Political Science, 2007, 51: 78–91. [^Back]

    [18]. [2] Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We! -The Challenges to America’s National Identity, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. [^Back]

    [19]. [3] Jim Sidnius et al, “The Interface Between Ethnic and National Attachment: Ethnic Pluralism or Ethnic Dominance?”, Public Opinion Quarterly, 1997, 61: 103, 104. [^Back]

    [20]. [1] [America] Inglehart, R. Modernization and Post Modernization: Cultural, Economic and Political Changes in 43 Countries. Yan, T. (trans.) Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 29–31 (2013). [^Back]

    [21]. [1] Ikenberry, J. in Goldstein, G. & Keohane, R (eds.) Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change. Liu, D. & Yu, J. (trans.) Beijing: Peking University Press, 67 (2005). [^Back]

    [22]. [1] P. A. Samuelson, “Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2004, 18: 135–146. [^Back]

    [23]. [1] Dani Rodrik, “When Ideas Trump Interests: Preferences, Worldviews, and Policy Innovations”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2014, 28: 189–208. [^Back]

    [24]. [2] Michael E. S., Hoffman, “What Explains Attitudes across US Trade Policies?”, Public Choice, 2009, 138: 447–460. [^Back]

    [25]. [3] Karl C. Kaltenthaler, Ronald D. Gelleny and Stephen J. Ceccoli, “Explaining Citizen Support for Trade Liberalization”, International Studies Quarterly, 2004, 48: 829–851. [^Back]

    [26]. [1] Kevin H. O’ Rourke and Richard Sinnott, “The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence”, In Brookings Trade Forum, 2001, edited by Susan M. Collins and Dani Rodrik, 157–206. Washington, D. C.: Brookings Institution. [^Back]

    [27]. [2] David M. Rankin, “Identities, Interests, and Imports”, Political Behavior, 2001, 23: 351–76. [^Back]

    [28]. [3] Shahrzad Sabet, “What’s in a Name? Isolating the Effect of Prejudice on Individual Trade Preference”, Working article, prepared for presentation at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago IL, 2013. [^Back]

    [29]. [4] Martin S. Edwards, “Public Opinion Regarding Economic and Cultural Globalization: Evidence from a Cross-National Survey”, Review of International Political Economy, 2006, 13: 587–608. [^Back]

    [30]. [5] Edward D. Mansfield, and Diana C. Mutz, “Support for Free Trade: Self-Interest, Sociotropic Politics, and Out-Group Anxiety”, International Organization, 2009, 63: 425–57. [^Back]

    [31]. [6] David O. Sears, and Carolyn L. Funk, “Self-Interest in Americans’ Political Opinions”, in Beyond Self-Interest, edited by Jane J. Mansbridge, 147–70. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990. [^Back]

    [32]. [1] David M. Rankin, “Featuring the President as Free Trader: Television News Coverage of U.S. Trade Politics”, Presidential Studies Quarterly, 2006, 36: 633–659. [^Back]

    [33]. [2] Megumi Naoi and Ikuo Kume, “Explaining Mass Support for Agricultural Protectionism: Evidence from a Survey Experiment During the Global Recession”, International Organization, 2011, 65: 771–795. [^Back]

    [34]. [3] Diana C. Mutz and Eunji Kim, “The Impact of In-group Favoritism on Trade Preferences”, International Organization, 2017, 71: 827–850. [^Back]

    [35]. [1] Li, D., Hu, S. & Shi, J. Economic Perspectives (经济学动态), (4): 113 (2017). [^Back]

    [36]. [2] Eddie Hearn, “Harm, Fairness and Trade Policy Preferences: An Experimental Examination of Sincere Fair-trade Preferences”, International Politics, 2014, 51: 124–135. [^Back]

    [37]. [3] Sean D. Ehrlich, “The Fair Trade Challenge to Embedded Liberalism”, International Studies Quarterly, 2010, 54: 1013–1033. [^Back]

    [38]. [1] John G. Ruggie, Winning the Peace: America and World Order in the New Era. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. [^Back]

    [39]. [2] John Gerard Ruggie, “International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order International Organization”, International Regimes, 1982, 36: 379–415. [^Back]

    [40]. [1] Xu, Q. Journal of Northwest Normal University (Social Sciences) (西北师大学报(社会科学版)), (4): 117 (2003). [^Back]

    [41]. [2] Zhang, L. Journal of International Trade (国际贸易问题), (6): 36 (2011). [^Back]

    [42]. [3] Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2016. [^Back]

    [43]. [1] P. A. Samuelson, “Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2004, 18: 135–146. [^Back]

    [44]. [2] Li, D., Hu, S. & Shi, J. Economic Perspectives (经济学动态), (4): 114 (2017). [^Back]

    [45]. [1] Pew Research Center, “For Most Trump Voters, ‘Very Warm’Feelings for Him”, Endured August 9, 2018, http://www.people-press.org/2018/08/09/for-most-trump-voters-very-warm-feelings-for-him-endured/[2018-09-08]. [^Back]

    [46]. [2] Pew Research Center, “Trump Has Met the Public’s Modest Expectations for His Presidency”, August23, 2018, http://www.people-press.org/2018/08/23/trump-has-met-the-publics-modest-expectations-for-his-presidency/[2018-09-08]. [^Back]

    [47]. [1] Richard Wike and Kat Devlin, “As Trade Tensions Rise, Fewer Americans See China Favorably”, August 28, 2018, http://www.people-press.org/2018/08/09/for-most-trump-voters-very-warm-feelings-for-him-endured/[2018-09-04]. [^Back]

This Article

ISSN:1007-0974

CN: 11-3799/F

Vol , No. 06, Pages 98-116+7

November 2018

Downloads:0

Share
Article Outline

Knowledge

Abstract

  • 1 Features of Trump’s new trade policy
  • 2 Previous research on US trade policy
  • 3 Three levels of ideas affecting US trade policy
  • 4 How the idea affect US trade policymaking: preferences formation and strategic choices
  • 5 Collision of ideas in Sino-US economic and trade conflicts
  • Footnote