In contrast to the multilateral, consensus-driven approach to world trade pursued by U.S. policymakers from approximately 1946 to 1985, U.S. trade policy today has a strong unilateral component. Nevertheless, the United States has by no means abandoned its long-standing claim to the role of free trade champion. One indication is that U.S. policymakers continue to emphasize market-opening measures abroad, as opposed to market-closing measures at home. Efforts to open foreign markets are justified not only in terms of the potential benefits to U.S. exporters, but also by increases in foreign consumer welfare. Other exporting nations may also benefit from U.S.-initiated market-opening measures. This paper synthesizes the results of a September 1996 conference designed to explore the implications of U.S. economic unilateralism for the countries of the Pacific Basin. The conference was co-sponsored by RAND's Center for Asia-Pacific Policy, The Japan-America Society of Southern California, and The Asia Society of Southern California. Background research for the conference was made possible by the Korea Foundation.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.