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  The Politics of Trade Preferences: Business Lobbying on Service Trade in the United States and the European Union

Woll, C. (2004). The Politics of Trade Preferences: Business Lobbying on Service Trade in the United States and the European Union. PhD Thesis, University of Cologne, Cologne.

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Woll, Cornelia1, Author              
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1Institutioneller Wandel im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society, ou_1214549              

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 Abstract: The literature on the politics of international liberalization generally supposes that incumbent firms with important stakes in their home markets will lobby against the entrance of foreign competitors. This should be especially true in the markets of network services, which were traditionally structured around monopoly provision in most countries. Yet, are dominant firms really opposed to the liberalization of their markets? This dissertation studies the lobbying of incumbents concerning the international service trade negotiations in two sectors – telecommunications and air transport – and two countries – the US and the EU. It demonstrates that large service providers have actually lobbied in support of the liberalization of their sectors, with the exception of US airlines which prefer preserving the current system. Seeking to explain this support for liberalization, the dissertation examines the weight of four variables that might determine the policy stances of large firms: (1) economic incentives, (2) domestic regulatory traditions, (3) international regimes and (4) policy processes. In line with traditional trade policy literature, it finds that economic incentives play an important role, but it also highlights the effect of political processes and institutions on the trade preferences of economic actors. In particular, the multi-level process of EU policy making provides an incentive to lobby in support of liberalization. On a more theoretical note, the analysis of business-government interactions over time highlights the importance of endogenizing the preferences of economic actors into a theory of the policy process, as preferences evolve over the course of a firm’s lobbying activities.
 Abstract: La littérature sur la politique de la libéralisation internationale présuppose généralement que les entreprises dominantes sur leurs marchés domestiques s'opposent à l'ouverture au concurrents étrangers. Ceci devrait être particulièrement vrai pour des marchés de service de réseaux, qui étaient traditionnellement gérés par des monopoles, souvent publics. Or, les entreprises dominantes, s'opposent-elles vraiment à la libéralisation de leurs marchés domestiques ? Cette thèse examine le lobbying des entreprises dominantes vis-à-vis de la libéralisation internationale de leurs secteurs en service de télécommunications et de transport aérien en s'intéressant à deux pays, les Etats-Unis et l'Union européenne. Nous démontrons que ces entreprises se sont en fait exprimer en faveur de la libéralisation, avec l'exception des compagnies aériennes américaines. Afin de comprendre ce soutien, nous s'interrogeant sur le poids de quatre variables qui peuvent déterminer les préférences politiques de ces entreprises : (1) des incitations économiques, (2) des traditions réglementaires au niveau domestique, (3) le régime international qui gouverne le secteur et (4) le processus politiques dans lequel participent les entreprises. En accord avec la littérature traditionnelle sur le lobbying en matière de commerce extérieur, nous trouvons que les incitations économiques jouent un rôle important, mais nous soulignons également les effets du processus et des institutions politiques sur la formation et l'évolution des préférences. En particulier, nous montrons que le système à plusieurs niveaux de l'UE encourage un lobbying en faveur de libéralisation alors que le processus américain permet des demandes politiques plus variables. Sur une note théorique, l'analyse des interactions entre gouvernements et entreprises dans la durée souligne l'importance de considérer comme endogène au processus du commerce les préférences des acteurs économiques, surtout dans l'analyse de la politique européenne.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2004-11-092004
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 474
 Publishing info: Cologne : University of Cologne
 Table of Contents: Table of contents
List of tables
List of figures
List of abbreviations
Preface
Abstract
Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION
1. Studying business lobbying: beyond political input
1.1. The political economy perspective on trade policy lobbying
1.2. Endogenizing preferences
1.3. A temporal perspective on business lobbying
2. Large firms faced with international liberalization
2.1. Research design
2.2. Empirical observation of lobbying in telecommunication and air transport
2.3. The argument: contextualizing business interests
3. Theoretical implications
3.1. On the nature of international commerce
3.2. The EU as a liberalizing machine?
3.3. National variations in capitalism
3.4. A sociological perspective on “corporate globalization”
4. Terminology
5. Outline of the dissertation
PART I
Trade Policy Lobbying in a Transatlantic Comparison
Chapter 2
THE EVOLUTION OF BUSINESS PREFERENCES ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
1. Determining business policy preferences on international trade
1.1. Economic incentives
1.2. National regulatory traditions
1.3. International regimes
1.4. Political processes
2. Towards an articulation of the different approaches
2.1. On interests, preferences and strategies
2.2. Accounting for variation
2.2.1. Defining policy preferences, a three step process
2.2.2. The case of economic interests in trade policy
2.3. On the evolution of “business interests”
3. Comparative findings
3.1. Comparative design
3.2. Findings
3.3. Towards a process model of preference evolution
4. Methodology
4.1. Between variables and thick description
4.2. A qualitative approach
4.3. Semi-structured interviews
4.4. The practice of interviewing
4.5. Use of the interviews
Chapter 3
STUDYING THE US AND THE EU IN MULTILATERAL SERVICE LIBERALIZATION
1. US - EU comparison
1.1. Trade policy-making in the US and the EU
1.1.1. Trade policy competences in the US and the EU
1.1.2. The political opportunities open to businesses
1.1.3. Similarities and Differences
1.2. Lobbying in a transatlantic comparison
1.2.1. US lobbying
1.2.2. EU lobbying
1.2.3. Comparing US and EU lobbying
2. Studying services
2.1. Trade in services
2.2. The emergence of multilateral service trade
2.3. Business interests in services
2.4. Comparing telecommunications and air transport
2.4.1. Studying sectors
2.4.2. Telecommunication and air transport services
3. Conclusion
PART II
Lobbying on Multilateral Telecommunications Service Liberalization
Chapter 4
STAKES IN TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES
1. Economic conditions
1.1. Corporate landscape
1.2. Economic performance of the telecommunication service industry
2. Domestic regulatory traditions
2.1. Market liberalization in the United States
2.2. Market liberalization in Europe
3. The old international framework
4. Towards a new international regime
4.1. Forces of change
4.2. US position
4.3. European position(s)
4.4. Tackling international reform through the GATS
Chapter 5
BASIC TELECOM NEGOTIATIONS AT THE WTO
1. Historic overview
2. Business involvement
2.1. Learning trade
2.2. Getting organized
2.3. Forms and channels of political participation
3. Evolving policy stances
3.1. The stance of the US delegation
3.1.1. Advocating reciprocal multilateral liberalization
3.1.2. Refusing the agreement
3.1.3. Exporting domestic arrangements
3.2. The policy stance of the EU delegation
3.2.1. Advocating multilateral liberalization
3.2.2. Shared competences
3.2.3. The reference paper
4. Understanding the patterns of business mobilization
4.1. Cleavages and constituencies
4.2. Defining interests
4.3. Perspectives
4.3. Conclusion
PART III
Lobbying in International Air Transport
Chapter 6
STAKES IN AIR TRANSPORT SERVICES
1. Economic context
1.1. Corporate landscape
1.2. Economic performance of the air transport sector
2. Domestic regulatory traditions
2.1. Domestic deregulation in the US
2.2. Liberalization in the EU
3. International regulatory regime
3.1. The old system
4. Towards a new international regime?
4.1. Forces of change
4.2. US bilateral reform efforts
4.2.1. Revising bilaterals and attacking the price cartel
4.2.2. Strategic alliances and open skies
4.3. Avoiding multilateralism
4.3.1. Concentrating on regional liberalization
4.3.2. Air transport in the GATS
4.3.3. The difficult role of ICAO
Chapter 7
NEGOTIATING BILATERAL LIBERALIZATION
1. Historic overview of US-EU negotiations
2. Business Interests
2.1. Relations between airlines and governments in international affairs
2.1.1. In the United States
2.1.2. In the European Union
2.2. Policy stance on external aviation relations
2.2.1. American carriers
2.2.2. EU
3. Government strategies
3.1. US constraints and issues
3.1.1. The US administration
3.1.2. Congress
3.1.3. The US negotiation stance
3.2. EU constraints and issues
3.2.1. The Commission and the member states
3.2.2. Playing the US card
3.2.3. The EU negotiating stance
4. Understanding business – government symbiosis
4.1. Relative disadvantage
4.2. Judging government constraints
4.3. Perspectives
4.4. Conclusion
PART IV
Analysis and Generalizations
Chapter 8
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
1. Alternative explanations
1.1. Economic incentives
1.2. National regulatory traditions
1.3. International regulatory regime
1.4. Policy process
1.5. Summarizing the contribution of the four elements
2. Re-examining the case studies
2.1. US telecom
2.2. EU telecom
2.3. US air transport
2.4. EU air transport
2.5. Summary
3. A transatlantic lobbying comparison
3.1. Similarities
3.2. Differences
3.3. Reinforcing the search for problem-solving
Chapter 9
CONCLUSION
1. Summarizing the argument
1.1. Direct contacts vs. associations
1.2. Concrete lobbying vs. principle-based lobbying
1.3. On the content and substance of trade lobbying
1.4. Moving beyond materialist political economy
2. Revisiting the theoretical implications
2.1. On the nature of trade
2.2. The connection between foreign trade and internal integration
2.3. National variation in business-government relations?
3. On lobbying and economic change
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Primary sources
1.1. Official documents
1.2. Policy statements
1.3. Journals
1.4. Internet sources
2. Secondary sources
ANNEXES
A1. List of interviews
A2. Notes on the practice of interviewing
A3. Telecommunication service data
A4. Reference paper
A5. Telecom timeline
A6. International air transport data
A7. Freedoms of the air
A8. GATS air transport annex
Curriculum Vitae
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: 230793
 Degree: PhD

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