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Trade Promotion Authority: Do actions speak louder than words?

Recent years have witnessed the proliferation of international trade agreements, that have not only been growing in number, but also in their scope and institutional complexity.

To evaluate these agreements, it is essential to be informed about their key components and the institutions behind them. This project aims to achieve this by analysing one such institution, Trade Promotion Authority. It is a central institution of the United States’ trade policy, by which Congress commits not to amend a trade agreement signed with a partner economy, but to subject the agreement to an up-or-down vote. Bilgehan Karabay together with the other two project members offer a new interpretation of Trade Promotion Authority by analysing its raison d’être from the partner economy’s perspective. The main idea is that if the United States signs a trade agreement with a partner economy without this authority, businesses in the partner economy can be vulnerable to changes made to the initial agreement if they already made irreversible investments. Hence, Trade Promotion Authority may be required in convincing foreign partners to sign an agreement with the United States.