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Title: The political economy of the Kennedy Round period and the shift in U.S. trade policy towards the European Community
Author: Alexander, K. W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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It was not until the early-1960s, after the formation of the European Community, that U.S. policy makers began to seriously advocate a low tariff policy for the United States and Western Europe. The change in trade policy during the 1960s was the result of President John F. Kennedy's determination to form a more tightly knit 'partnership' between the United States and the European Community in response to mounting tension between the two superpowers, the threat of trade diversion in Europe, and America's own economic difficulties. These factors were clearly inter-linked, and, each played a vital role in putting America on the swifter path to freer trade and the Atlantic Community on the road to greater economic integration during the 1960s, even though the French were determined to keep the United States from interfering with their political and strategic-designs in Europe. The Trade Expansion Act of 1962 contained the necessary provisions for the President to cut tariffs substantially across the Atlantic and fix the emerging Common Market in a liberal, outward-looking mould, compatible with a close political and military relationship with the United States. It also paved the way for a new round of GATT negotiations, known as the Kennedy Round, which would ultimately reduce average tariff levels on both sides of the Atlantic below 10 percent for the first time in history. In short, the assumption that American trade policy during the early years of the Pax Americana was characterised by an unwavering commitment to free trade has undermined the significance of the Kennedy Round period - the period beginning with the passage of the Trade Expansion Act in October 1962 and ending with the signing of the Kennedy Round's Final Act in June 1967 - as the true turning point when the United States decided to shift its tariff policy towards Europe from moderate to low tariffs. This shift in trade policy was an important part of Kennedy's "Grand Design" to renew American world leadership and to strengthen the Western Alliance on the international front, while at the same time promoting the interests of American exporters who were faced with the threat of trade diversion and competition from a European marketplace equal in size and potential to their own economy for the first time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available