Research on Trade Policy webinar series | Trade politicization and Embedded Liberalism
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This event is part of a seminar series of virtual presentations of papers addressing various aspects of trade policy, organised in the framework of the Observatori de Política Exterior Europea (European Foreign Policy Observatory). The Research on Trade Policy series will consist of weekly presentations on Friday afternoon, 14:00 CEST. Each hour-long session will mimic a conference or workshop panel, followed by comments from a designated discussant. Thereafter we turn to questions from attendees.
There is consensus in literature on the contestation and politicization of European Union (EU) trade policy that the politics of trade changed from the late 1990s (“new trade politics”), that the “deepening” of trade agreements has increased the salience of trade, and that politicization over the bilateral negotiations with the United States and with Canada was triggered by perceptions regarding America’s economic model and power. This article claims that the reason why these are explanatory factors of trade politicization is because the telic legitimacy of EU trade policy lies with embedded liberalism. We argue that when EU trade policy is perceived as unable to export EU norms and standards, or worse, unable to guarantee their preservation as part of an embedded liberalism model within the EU, trade no longer serves its main objective; its telic legitimacy declines. Therefore, trade agreements’ usefulness is diminished in the eyes of many constituent groups. This furthers our understanding of trade politicization in the late 1990s, and of the bilateral negotiations with the United States and with Canada. Conversely, it helps explain the absence of politicization of agreements with weaker partners.
Patricia Garcia-Duran Huet is Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona (Department of Economic History, Institutions and Policies and World Economy). She is also Researcher at the Observatory of European Foreign Policy at theBarcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI). In recent years, her work has focused on EU trade policy and the World Trade Organization. She has published in several refereed journals, including the Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of European Integration and the Journal of World Trade.
Leif Johan Eliasson is Professor of Political Science at East Stroudsburg University. His research focuses on European trade policy and transatlantic trade relations. In addition to three books, he has published in journals such the Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of European Integration, World Economy,and the Journal of World Trade.