The World Trade Organization (WTO) oversees the negotiation and enforcement of formal rules governing international trade. Why do countries choose to adjudicate their trade disputes in the WTO rather than settling their differences on their own? In Why Adjudicate?, Christina Davis investigates the domestic politics behind the filing of WTO complaints and reveals why formal dispute settlement creates better outcomes for governments and their citizens. Davis demonstrates that industry lobbying, legislative demands, and international politics influence which countries and cases appear before the WTO. Democratic checks and balances bias the trade policy process toward public lawsuits and away from informal settlements. Trade officials use legal complaints to manage domestic politics and defend trade interests. WTO dispute settlement enables states and domestic groups to signal resolve more effectively, thereby enhancing the information available to policymakers and reducing the risk of a trade war.
Davis establishes her argument with data on trade disputes and landmark cases, including the Boeing-Airbus controversy over aircraft subsidies, disagreement over Chinese intellectual property rights, and Japan's repeated challenges of U.S. steel industry protection. In her analysis of foreign trade barriers against U.S. exports, Davis explains why the United States gains better outcomes for cases taken to formal dispute settlement than for those negotiated. Case studies of Peru and Vietnam show that legal action can also benefit developing countries.
Christina L. Davis is associate professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University. She is the author of Food Fights over Free Trade: How International Institutions Promote Agricultural Trade Liberalization (Princeton).
List of Figures ix List of Tables x Acknowledgments xi List of Abbreviations xv Chapter 1:.Introduction 1 The Enforcement of International Trade Law 6 Overview 20 Chapter 2: Domestic Constraints and Active Enforcement 26 Trade Institutions and Liberalization 29 Political Origins of Demand for Trade Enforcement 39 Hypotheses for Trade Strategies 57 Conclusion 60 Chapter 3. The Democratic Propensity for Adjudication 62 Why Are Democracies Litigious? 66 Data 72 Democratic Challengers 80 Democratic Defendants 88 Alliances and Dyadic Dispute Patterns 92 Conclusion 100 Chapter 4:The Litigious State: U.S. Trade Policy 102 U.S. Role as Enforcer of Multilateral Trade Rules 104 Legislative Constraints in U.S. Trade Policy 111 The Kodak-Fuji Film Dispute 118 Foreign Trade Barrier Dataset 123 Statistical Analysis of U.S. Forum Choice 132 Boeing-Airbus Dispute 138 The China Problem 158 Conclusion 182 Chapter 5: The Reluctant Litigant: Japanese Trade Policy 185 Defending Market Access for Japanese Exports 187 Delegation in Japanese Trade Policy 195 Statistical Analysis of Japanese Forum Choice 210 Active Adjudication Targeting U.S. Steel Protection 225 Other Solutions for China 233 Conclusion 241 Chapter 6: Conflict Management: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Adjudication 244 Solving Hard Cases 246 Analysis of Progress to Remove Barrier 248 Analysis of Trade Dispute Duration 253 Conclusion 256 Chapter 7: Level Playing Field? Adjudication by Developing Countries 258 Peru Challenges European Food Labeling 262 Vietnam and the Catfish Dispute 267 Conclusion 279 Chapter 8: Conclusion 281 The Political Role of Adjudication 281 Conflict and Cooperation 293 Toward a Broader Theory of Legalization 297 Bibliography 301 Index 319