Domestic Competition over Trade Barriers in the US International Trade Commission

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Authors Jeremy Caddel
Journal/Conference Name INTERNATIONAL STUDIES QUARTERLY
Paper Category
Paper Abstract As governments lower traditional tariffs, they may use non-tariff barriers, such as antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) laws, to protect domestic industries. Research on the US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent agency responsible for adjudicating AD/CVD claims, finds mixed evidence of political influence in these cases. However, this research focuses predominately on the political influence of the petitioning industry. Applying theories of bureaucratic oversight, I posit that the ITC must be receptive both to petitioners and to firms that oppose trade barriers. Using an original data set compiled from ITC records of witness testimony in these cases, I demonstrate that domestic opposition to an AD/CVD petition has a significant effect on ITC decisions. Moreover, members of Congress actively intervene on both sides of AD/CVD petitions and have some influence on ITC decisions. These results suggest that AD/CVD politics in the United States is better understood as a contest between competing domestic interests than a captured bureaucracy providing rents to protectionist interests.
Date of publication 2014
Code Programming Language R
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