Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Bureaucrats or Politicians? Political Parties and Antidumping in the US

Aquilante, Tommaso (2015): Bureaucrats or Politicians? Political Parties and Antidumping in the US.

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Abstract

Antidumping (AD) is the most widely used contingent protection measure. In the United States, key decisions on AD are delegated to the International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent agency composed of six non-elected commissioners. Using a newly collected dataset, I study the determinants of all final ITC votes on AD during the 1980-2010 period. Contrary to the view that ITC commissioners are bureaucrats who simply follow technical rules, I find that their decisions crucially depend on which party has appointed them (the selection effect) and on the trade policy interests of key senators in that party (the pressure effect): whether (Democratic) Republican-appointed commissioners vote in favor of AD depends crucially on whether the petitioning industry is key (in terms of employment) in the states represented by leading (Democratic) Republican senators.

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