This course provides an introduction to international trade policy. Its purpose is to provide students with an understanding of international trade theory, rules, politics and institutions and the major policy issues facing the global trading system. The first part of the course presents a treatment of the theory of international trade. It explores the rationale for free trade, the distributional impact of trade, the impact of tariffs and quotas, and the challenges presented by deeper international economic integration.
The second part of the course deals with the World Trade Organization, and how U.S. trade policy is conducted. It explores negotiation mechanisms and principles and the rules relating to market access, dispute settlement, fair trade, safeguards and trade-related intellectual property, (TRIPs). The third part considers major issues facing the trading system. These include regional trading arrangements (including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), foreign investment and national security concerns, China’s entry into the WTO and health and safety concerns associated with trade.
The aim of this course is to provide an analytical background for those who plan to go into government service, international organizations and agencies, businesses involved in the global economy, nongovernmental organizations with international foci, and consulting firms analyzing international trade policy issues.
Only those who are comfortable with graphical – and to a lesser degree algebraic – analysis should enroll in this course. It requires some immersion in relevant economic theory, although some time is devoted to institutional descriptions.