U.S. International Agricultural Trade Policy: Interests, Institutions and Information in the Corn Supply Chain
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The purpose of this article is to analyze the U.S. international agricultural trade policy by focusing on instruments and institutional arrangements. Policy decision-making is analyzed by means of three variables: 1) how interests are mobilized; 2) how information is disseminated; and 3) how spaces are occupied in deliberation arenas. The study refers to the corn sector and observes how the National Corn Growers Association operated to ensure subsidies and incentives for this supply chain along the elaboration of the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills, as well as from other laws pertaining to agricultural and energy incentives. This paper provides evidences in favor of four arguments: first, empirical studies on the formulation and implementation of foreign trade policy, especially when it comes to agricultural issues, would greatly benefit with a greater attention on understanding the role domestic actors play in the decision-making processes; second, interest groups play a key role in this decision-making process; third, they provide the rationale for the formulation and implementation of the U.S. international agricultural trade policy; and, fourth, when the economic sector coordinates complex and relevant supply chains in the U.S. economy, it is hardly possible to revert the U.S. protectionist position in the Legislative branch.