Constructing European Union Trade Policy: A Global Idea of by Gabriel Siles-Brügge

By Gabriel Siles-Brügge

With the stagnation of the Doha around of multilateral talks, exchange liberalisation is more and more undertaken via unfastened alternate agreements. Gabriel Siles-Brügge examines the EU's choice following the 2006 'Global Europe' technique to negotiate such agreements with rising economies. Eschewing the in basic terms materialist motives famous within the box, he develops a singular constructivist argument to focus on the function of language and ideas in shaping european exchange coverage. Drawing on vast interviews and documentary research, Siles-Brügge exhibits how ecu exchange policymakers have privileged the pursuits of exporters to the detriment of import-competing teams, growing an ideational central for market-opening. Even throughout the on-going fiscal obstacle the overriding mantra has been that the EU's destiny healthiness relies on its skill to compete in international markets. The more and more neoliberal orientation of european exchange coverage has additionally had vital results for its monetary international relations with the constructing economies of the African, Caribbean and Pacific crew of states.

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Example text

The mainstream, or so-called ‘rationalist’, accounts of trade policy reviewed so far have, unfortunately, mainly focused on the material determinants of policy and have thus disregarded a key determinant of political economic outcomes. In the next section I will thus show that, from a theoretical perspective, one needs to take the role of ideas more seriously if one is to understand the behaviour of the EU and the key actors in its trade policymaking. It is important at this stage to emphasise that I am not saying that conventional accounts of trade policy cannot explain the EU’s trade strategy or its policy outcomes.

Such liberalisation can generate economic rents for firms engaged in production sharing, while in the case of services, discriminatory regulatory liberalisation gives suppliers a ‘firstmover’ advantage in terms of penetrating new markets. Neither of these advantages would be derived from market opening in the most-favoured nation (MFN) mould of multilateral trade talks, where competitors cannot be excluded from taking advantage of liberalisation gains. In fact, for Manger the extremely competitive nature of preferential liberalisation for services – and to a lesser extent for production-sharing manufacturers – provides a powerful Olsonian ‘common economic interest’ that rallies interest groups and leads them to seek PTAs.

As a result, services firms may lobby their governments for preferential access to such markets for two reasons. Firstly, incumbent service operators with significant sunk investment may favour preferential liberalisation of investment because it – even if applied non-discriminatorily, which the lifting of foreign equity restrictions often is – allows them to take advantage of their ‘first-mover’ advantage to improve on their dominant position. Secondly and more importantly, where regulation is very important for a given sector, preferential liberalisation itself creates ‘first-mover’ advantages for potential entrants.

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