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Assessing the George W. Bush PresidencyA Tale of Two Terms$
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Andrew Wroe and Jon Herbert

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627400

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.001.0001

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International Trade Policy under George W. Bush

International Trade Policy under George W. Bush

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter 9 International Trade Policy under George W. Bush
Source:
Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency
Author(s):

Nitsan Chorev

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.003.0009

George W. Bush came to office with an ambitious free trade agenda but without clear congressional support for it. Initially, the Bush administration engaged in a great flurry of activity, including successfully launching a new round of multilateral trade negotiations for the United States. By 2008, however, hardly any progress had been made at the multilateral negotiations, and other relatively ambitious regional plans failed to materialise. This chapter shows that what made it difficult for the Bush administration to advance its version of trade liberalisation was Congress's unprecedented opportunity to make its voice heard. In particular, the Bush administration's handling of multilateral trade negotiations during his first years in office had the unintended consequence of providing Congress the means to play a relatively active role in international trade policy in later years, making the Bush administration relatively vulnerable to Congress's position. It also discusses the Bush administration's restrained unilateralism, preference for bilateralism over multilateralism, and regional and bilateral trade agreements.

Keywords:   George W. Bush, United States, Congress, multilateral trade negotiations, trade liberalisation, trade policy, international trade, unilateralism, bilateralism, trade agreements

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