In This Review

Case Studies in U.S. Trade Negotiations (2 vols.)
Case Studies in U.S. Trade Negotiations (2 vols.)
By Charan Devereaux, Robert Z. Lawrence, and Michael D. Watkins
Institute for International Economics, 2006, 384 pp

The economics of international trade is simple and straightforward -- at least when compared with its political and legal aspects. For many years, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has exposed its students and visiting civil servants to these complexities through selected case studies drawn from the U.S. experience. These two volumes make available some of those studies, along with useful interpretive and background material, under two categories: trade policy formation and negotiation and the settlement of disputes. Volume 1, "Making the Rules", covers intellectual property, the failed Multilateral Agreement on Investment, Bill Clinton's inability to get fast-track trade-negotiating authority through Congress, the U.S.-Chinese accession agreement for China's membership in the World Trade Organization, and negotiations with the European Union over mutual recognition of regulatory systems. Volume 2, "Resolving Disputes", covers disputes with the European Union over hormone-treated beef, bananas, and genetically modified foods; the Kodak-Fuji dispute over film distribution; various ruckuses over steel; and the Brazilian case against U.S. cotton subsidies. Each study alone offers useful glimpses of how the U.S. political system and the international trading system work. Taken together, this is a fine collection for all students of foreign trade and international cooperation in practice.