Case 170 - The U.S.-Japanese FSX Fighter Agreement
Ortmayer, Louis L.
In the spring of 1989 the newly inaugurated George H.W. Bush administration pursued a controversial defense co-development program with Japan: a joint venture to design the new FSX fighter for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. This is a two-part case. Part A of this case study examines the sharp debate between the Bush administration and Congress over the program, as well as the positions of major proponents and opponents of the deal. Part B investigates the rationale behind President Bush’s veto and illuminates some of the broader implications of the FSX debate for the making of U.S. foreign economic policy. This case may be used to promote discussion of the dynamics of bureaucratic politics and pluralist models of U.S. foreign policymaking, as well as the wider repercussions of economic dimensions of national security in the post-Cold War era.