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Handbook of Trade Policy for Development$
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Arvid Lukauskas, Robert M. Stern, and Gianni Zanini

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680405.001.0001

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The Political Economy of Protectionism

The Political Economy of Protectionism

Chapter:
(p.223) Chapter 8 The Political Economy of Protectionism
Source:
Handbook of Trade Policy for Development
Author(s):

Arvid Lukauskas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680405.003.0008

Arvid Lukauskas explores the political underpinnings of protectionism and trade liberalization. Lukauskas argues that political factors fundamentally influence commercial policy design and implementation, including the decisions to impose or remove barriers to trade such as tariffs, quotas, and non-tariff barriers. Trade liberalization is most likely to occur when protected industries themselves no longer desire trade barriers or politicians determine that the political costs of protectionism have increased. Deepening globalization has increased the costs of maintaining highly protected markets, giving public officials an incentive to undertake trade reform. To be successful, liberalization must be accompanied by complementary reforms in other economic policy areas, particularly those concerning factor markets. Lukauskas also shows that the international political and economic context in which trade takes place is critical for understanding trade policy as it generates a powerful set of constraints and incentives that policymakers must consider when formulating strategy.

Keywords:   Protectionism, trade, political economy, trade liberalization, complementary reforms, globalization, tariffs, non-tariff barriers, quotas, reform

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