By John Kunkel
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Extra resources for America's Trade Policy Towards Japan: Demanding Results (Routledge Advances in International Political Economy, 11)
The Bush Administration resisted these pressures, embracing instead the less prescriptive, process-oriented Structural Impediments Initiative. A simple focus on societal pressures offers little help in explaining how SII became the US government’s key innovation in market access policy towards Japan between 1989 and 1992 (see Chapter 8). A perspective that fails to accommodate the role of institutional variables and the preferences of state actors leaves critical aspects of policy decision-making unexplored.
Heightened exposure to Japanese behind-the-border institutions and practices, in conjunction with an increasing bilateral trade imbalance and intense Japanese import competition in the US market, led to increased American policy attention to bilateral market access problems in Japan in the 1970s. The idea that Japan played by different rules economically, while not new, gained wider intellectual support by the 1980s. Over time, the hardliners successfully focused attention on the Japan problem as an issue of high political and economic salience.
The unique structural position of the state at the intersection of the international and domestic political economies is subsumed by societal reductionism. To be sure, the empirical record of US trade policy affirms that societal pressures establish incentives and constraints on policy action. But rarely do such Explaining US trade policy 19 pressures appear sufficiently binding as to justify ‘black-boxing’ the state. Major redirections of US trade policy, as well as more specific episodes in US–Japan trade relations, highlight the need to go beyond a focus on demands of societal interests.
America's Trade Policy Towards Japan: Demanding Results (Routledge Advances in International Political Economy, 11) by John Kunkel