Economics at your fingertips  

The MFA Paradox: More Protection and More Trade?

Joseph Finger and Ann Harrison ()

No 4751, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The textile industry's political power stemmed from its importance in southern states plus the power of the Southern delegation in the U.S. Congress in the 1960s. The strongest resistance to the industry's pressure for protection came from the foreign policy interests of the Executive branch. A constellation of influences explains why negotiated, or voluntary export restraints (VERs), sanctioned by international agreements (the Multi-Fiber Arrangement) was the form protection took. First, the Japanese industry, at the time the world's leading textile exporter, already in the 1930s had exhibited a willingness to accept negotiated agreements to trade disputes. Second, the U.S. Executive, having been a leader in establishing the GATT system to control the sort of unilateral restrictive actions that contributed to the 1930s depression, was reluctant to take unilateral action. Third, the arrangement was acceptable to the U.S. industry because, through their particular power over agricultural legislation, the Southern delegation won passage, as amendments to agriculture bills, of legislation to enforce these 'voluntary' restraints at the U.S. border. But because enforcement remained with the Executive branch, it tended to follow the letter of the agreements, hence exports could continue to expand by shifting to new product varieties and to new supplier countries.

JEL-codes: F1 L6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1994-05
Note: ITI
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (17) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as The Political Economy of American Trade Policy, Anne O. Krueger ed.pp. 197-254, (University of Chicago Press, 1996).
Published as The MFA Paradox: More Protection and More Trade? , J. Michael Finger, Ann Harrison. in The Political Economy of American Trade Policy , Krueger. 1996

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Chapter: The MFA Paradox: More Protection and More Trade? (1996) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

Page updated 2022-09-17
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4751