Case 180 - Shifting Winds and Strong Currents: George Bush Charts a Trade-Policy Approach to Japan
Fratantuono, Michael J.
This two-part case study explores the George H.W. Bush administration’s formulation of trade policy objectives in light of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, through which Congress hoped to take a more interventionist role in U.S. trade policy toward Japan. It illustrates the complex relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government on trade issues; the link between aggressive unilateralism and multilateralism in formulating trade policy; the distinction between micro- and macroeconomic causes of the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Japan; and the manner in which the Bush administration attempted to assuage the competing concerns of various stakeholders. It is useful for both undergraduate and graduate courses in international economics, trade theory, and political economy.