News reports often talk about the political influence that major corporations and industry groups have on EU trade policy decisions. But exactly what role do business actors play in EU trade policy-making? And why do EU policy-makers listen to the demands of firms and their lobby groups? This chapter tries to answer these questions by identifying the type of firms involved in EU trade politics, analysing their political strategies and influence, as well as detailing the institutional setting in which EU trade policy-making takes place. In doing so, this chapter provides a detailed account of business-government relations in current EU trade politics and how these dynamics have changed over time.
In the last two decades, we have witnessed important changes in the field of international trade and industrial organization. The two most important developments in this regard have been the shifts towards: (1) transnationalization _ and increasing complexity of trade governance; and (2) fundamentally different patterns of trade and production, which increasingly takes place within so-called global value chains (GVCs). This chapter takes into account the changing context of global trade and aims to analyse the political role of corporations in trade policy-making. To this end, it identifies the type of firms involved in global trade politics, as well as analysing the institutional setting in which trade policy-making takes place. The chapter provides a detailed account of how and with what effect the winners and losers of international trade defend their respective interests in the context of twenty-first-century trade politics, and how these dynamics have evolved over time.