The first step in my methodical approach to determining the impact that the US and the EU have in terms of international trade and how it has impacted other major economies, is by conducting exploratory research to determine what primary and secondary sources have concluded.
The first article was published from the European University Institute and is entitled, “The Political Impact of the EU’s International Trade” which discusses the EU’s relationship to trade in terms of its ability to influence international trade policies through exertion of international power. While the EU has been considered an economic giant, this article contends that it is also a political dwarf on the economic level. The Union as an entity does not possess a singular right to vote on the UN Security Council. Therefore, this article believes that there may be opportunity for the EU to leverage its massive economy to effectuate change in terms of international trade agreements, which would consequentially lead to greater influence. The article concludes that the EU, lacks significant international influence for four primary reasons: 1.) Domestically Institutionalized limitations within the EU 2.) The lack of multilateral trade negotiations 3.) The weakness of the Unions Common Foreign and Security Policy and its Common security and defense policy 4.) The defensive as opposed to proactive global projection of the EU (Caratelli).
The second article I discovered was more focused on the process through which members of the European Union engaged in trade negotiations. Sophie Meunier explains how the individual countries of the EU must speak as a single voice; therefore, international trade agreements pose a unique difficulty. Therefore, the process through which members of the EU have their interest distributed and weighed among others impacts the ways in which trade relationships benefit their specific country (Meunier).
While most research indicates that the U.S. is not only strong in terms of its international influence originating from its hard power leverage, most research concludes that the U.S. has one of the largest consumption economies in the world, make the U.S. an ideal trade partner. But in terms of the ability to establish new international regulations, a great example is the EU-US dispute over beef (Johnson, and Hanrahan). The EU rejected the imports of Hormone treated meats into its boarders by the U.S. citing that the international products devalued the domestic product base. In response to banning U.S. products, the U.S. increased tariffs on EU products. This dispute has been ongoing for several decades and both the EU and the US have appeared before the WTO to argue their case. This type of political standoff in particular impacts the trade relationship between the EU and the US.
In terms of e-commerce and online shopping, the EU and the US have played a major role in developing the international precedence (Farrell). Through the establishment of the Safe Harbor agreement, the US and EU seemingly abandoned traditionally game theorem tactics in support of more constructivist notions of interactions.
Finally, Elsig describes the implications of US and EU trade influence on other nations in his review of Drezner, “All Politics is Global”. In this account, we find that despite the lack of influence by the EU, and the diminishing soft power by the US, by virtue of the size of their economies, they are able to influence the products that other countries produce as well as appeal to international organizations to protect their domestic markets (Elsig). This in turns has an inevitable consequence on how domestic production occurs among several developing and developed countries outside of the scope of this dissertation.
Through the use of exploratory research methods either online or in physical libraries, I will continue to discover new information and data concerning international trade. This form of empirical data collection is key to determining how new trade policies impact or cause change in global trade. Unfortunately, I will be unable to conduct surveys and perform experiments due to the specialization required for international trade knowledge. Moreover, the comparative analysis can be done through empirical research as by consulting primary and secondary sources.
- Caratelli, Irene. “The Political Impact of the EU’s International Trade: EU trade power, policy and influence.” CADMUS, EUI Research Repository. (2010): n. page. Print. http://cadmus.eui.eu/
- Elsig, Manfred. “Review of Daniel W. Drezner ‘All Politics is Global’” World Trade Review. (2009). 8, pp 367-370.
- Farrell, Henry. “Constructing the International Foundations of E-Commerce—The EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Arrangement.” International Organization. (2003). 57, pp 277-306.
- Johnson, R., and C. Hanrahan. N.p.. Web. 15 Apr 2013. http://nationalaglawcenter.org
- Meunier, Sophie. “What Single Voice? European Institutions and EU–U.S. Trade Negotiations.” International Organization. (2000). pp 103-135.