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Reader’s Review

John Baker

Case Studies in US Trade Negotiation, Volume 1: Making the Rules
By Charan Devereaux, Robert Z. Lawrence, and Michael D. Watkins
398 pp. Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 2006
Paperback (US) $27.95

This is an outstanding work by a team of three extraordinary scholars.  The first volume concentrates on the negotiation of international trade agreements and the second volume (not reviewed at this time) explores the resolution of trade disputes.  It is a set that will please any student of international trade negotiation.  

Charan Devereaux, is a Senior Researcher at the JF Kennedy School of Government, Trade and Negotiation Program and Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.  Robert Z. Lawrence is a Senior Fellow is the Albert L. Williams Professor of Trade and Investment at Harvard University and Michael D. Watkins is at INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France) and was a professor at the Kennedy School of Government and the Business School at Harvard University.

The first volume examines five important trade negotiations that readers will remember well.  The study begins with an exploration of the long and important negotiation over intellectual property rights.  Then the authors present the US-European Union negotiations on mutual recognition agreements; the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for Multilateral Agreements negotiations; the negotiations between the US Congress and the US Executive branch of government conferring “fast-track” trade negotiation authority on the President and reducing legislative power to  acceptance or rejection of trade agreements negotiated by the President with no chance for amendment; and finally the US-China negotiations over WTO membership for China.   It is a well-written and carefully presented exploration of the broad range of trade agreement negotiations, ranging from bilateral to regional and from multi-lateral to inter-governmental trade negotiations.

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March 2007