Trade Warriors

Trade Warriors : USTR and the End of the American Crusade for Free Trade

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With the end of the Cold War and the advent of the Clinton administration, economic advantage has become an overarching goal of American policy abroad. But for those working in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) economic concerns have always been paramount. As the President's trade negotiating arm, and a key player in policy formation, USTR looks out for the interests of American companies, workers, and farmers in the global marketplace. Now, in Trade Warriors, journalist Steve Dryden provides the first comprehensive history of USTR. Based on extensive interviews and declassified government documents, Trade Warriors is the compelling, inside account of the postwar American campaign for free trade. Created by President Kennedy in 1962, USTR has been led by a fascinating mix of characters, among them, statesman Christian Herter, Democratic wheeler-dealer Robert Strauss, Republican Party notable William Brock, and Washington superlawyer Carla Hills. President Clinton appointed one of his campaign managers, Mickey Kantor, to the trade representative's post. Gradually, yet with unmistakable intent, these individuals have altered the course of U.S. international economic policy. Trade Warriors is essential reading for anyone who wishes to better understand the evolving U.S. role in the world more

Product details

  • Hardback | 461 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 45.72mm | 929.86g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195067525
  • 9780195067521

About Steve Dryden

About the Author: Steve Dryden is a former Business Week writer now associated with Bloomberg Business more

Review Text

Former Business Week correspondent Dryden shows how economic reality can undermine lofty ideals in his engrossing history of the US trade representative, the White House official charged with looking out for America's export/import interests. Drawing on a variety of sources, the author tracks the checkered record compiled by the US trade representatives since the post's 1962 establishment by JFK. Free trade ranks among those canons as honored in the breach as in the observance, and over the years, the many men (Christian Herter, Robert Strauss, Clayton Yeutter, et al.) and one woman (Carla Hills) who served as USTR have had to battle protectionists at home and abroad. On occasion, they have been obliged to embrace expedients that fly in the face of bedrock laissez-faire principles, e.g., persuading the Japanese to curb their shipments of passenger cars into the American market. If necessary, moreover, USTRs engage in enforcement actions, like those mounted against the European governments that give indigenous farmers a home-field advantage and subsidize the consortium that manufactures Airbus jetliners. While headline-grabbing conflicts may provide the drama that alerts a drowsy public to free trade's importance, Dryden leaves little doubt that the patient bargaining done by USTR technocrats on America's behalf in successive rounds of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and drafting bilateral or multilateral accords like NAFTA are appreciably more consequential. The same holds true for ongoing efforts to propitiate chauvinistic pols, reduce so-called structural impediments (e.g., onerous technical requirements), allow for fluctuations in currency-exchange rates, obtain mutually beneficial concessions from trading partners, penalize dumping, and otherwise ensure that the international market keeps barriers to the unrestricted flow of goods or services to a minimum. An authoritative and illuminating perspective on America's not always consistent campaign to promote free (or at least more liberal) trade around the world. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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