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Undeflected pressure? The protectionist effect of political partisanship on US antidumping policy

Tommaso Aquilante ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2018, vol. 55, issue C, 455-470

Abstract: Antidumping (AD) is the most widely used non-tariff barrier. To deflect political pressure, in the United States, final decisions on AD are delegated to the International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent agency composed of six non-elected commissioners. Using a newly collected dataset, I study the determinants of all final ITC votes on AD during the 1989–2010 period. I find that ITC commissioners decisions on AD crucially depend on which party has appointed them and on the trade policy interests of key senators in that party: whether commissioners vote in favor of AD depends heavily on whether the petitioning industry is key (in terms of employment) in the states represented by leading senators of the Republican and Democratic parties, indicating that commissioners are reactive to party-specific political pressure. Interestingly, pressure seems to be more effective when the case for voting in favor or against AD is less clear-cut, suggesting that ITC commissioners are more likely to vote in line with political parties’ interests when it matters more.

Keywords: Antidumping policy; Political parties; Partisanship; Trade policy; Bureaucrats (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D78 F13 F14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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