Handbook of Research on Negotiation
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Handbook of Research on Negotiation

Edited by Mara Olekalns and Wendi L. Adair

Leading international scholars give insight into both the factors known to shape negotiation and the questions that we need to answer as we strive to deepen our understanding of the negotiation process. This Handbook provides analyses of the negotiation process from four distinct perspectives: negotiators’ cognition and emotion, social processes and social inferences, communication processes, and complex negotiations, covering trade, peace, environment, and crisis negotiations.
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Chapter 15: International trade negotiations

Larry Crump


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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