Edited by Mara Olekalns and Wendi L. Adair
Chapter 15: International trade negotiations
When examining international trade negotiations, many people may think our focus is on the buying and selling of goods in an international context—commercial transactions such as foreign oil, rice, electronics, or the many other foreign goods available in the global marketplace. This certainly is international trade, but when the academic literature examines trade negotiation the focus is on establishing the international regulatory environment that determines how goods and services are exchanged. It would be more rational to refer to this as “international trade policy negotiation” but the literature does not make this distinction. This chapter examines that literature concerned with the negotiation or establishment (but not implementation) of the international regulatory environment for trade in goods and services. International trade embraces “free market” principles as an ideal state (Smith, 1789) and international trade negotiation is the primary tool to achieve this ideal state although sometimes we find that such negotiations purposely erect rather than dismantle trade barriers (Crump, 2006a). Nevertheless, the overall purpose of international trade negotiation is the implementation of Adam Smith’s grand vision—trade liberalization.
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