U.S. Free Trade Agreements and Linkages

in International Negotiation
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



This article examines the driving factors that account for patterns of linkages to broader economic, labor, environmental, and security issues in U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Rather than only emphasizing trade benefits or security considerations as in much recent work on FTAs, this analysis provides a richer empirical picture by focusing on the full universe of U.S. FTAs. It conceptually differentiates among different issues that might be linked to FTAs and categorizes different patterns of U.S. FTAs based on the key issues that drove negotiations. The article then examines these negotiations from a theoretical standpoint, focusing on three elements. First, it examines the degree to which linkages in the U.S. domestic policymaking process are top-down or bottom-up. Second, it considers linkages types in terms of the underlying basis for issue connections – either power or knowledge. Third, it more briefly examines the bargaining process. The conceptual and theoretical analysis is buttressed through an examination of various illustrative cases of U.S. FTA negotiations to demonstrate the utility of this approach to illuminate the variety of ‘linkage packages’ that have driven U.S. FTAs. We conclude with the broader implications of linkages politics in FTAs.

U.S. Free Trade Agreements and Linkages

in International Negotiation



AggarwalVinod K. Liberal Protectionism: The International Politics of Organized Textile Trade. 1985 Berkeley, CA University of California Press

AggarwalVinod K. “The Political Economy of Service Sector Negotiations in the Uruguay Round.” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 1992 16 1 35 54

AggarwalVinod K. Institutional Designs for a Complex World 1998 Ithaca, NY Cornell University Press

AggarwalVinod K.AhnlidAnders “Linking Trade, Traditional Security, and Human Security: Lessons from Europe and the Americas and Implications for Asia,” 2011 Paper presented at a conference August 11–12 2011 Berkeley California

AhnlidAnders AggarwalVinod K.GovellaKristi “The Trade Do-Gooder: Linkages in EU Free Trade Negotiations,” Linking Trade and Security 2013 New York, NY Springer

BolleM.J. US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. 2001 Washington, D.C. Congressional Research Service

BuzanBarryWæverOleDe WildeJaap Security: A New Framework for Analysis 1998 Boulder, CO Lynne Rienner Publishers

CameronMaxwell A.TomlinBrian W. The Making of NAFTA: How the Deal Was Done. 2002 Ithaca, NY Cornell University Press

CaplingAnn “Preferential Trade Agreements as Instruments of Foreign Policy: An Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement and its Implications for the Asia Pacific Region.” The Pacific Review 2008 21 1 27 43

CaplingAnnRavenhillJohn “Multilateralising Regionalism: What role for the Trans-Pacific Partnership?” Pacific Review 2011 24 5 553 575

CharnovitzSteve Trade Law and Global Governance. 2002 London Cameron May

Committee on Ways and Means “Peru & Panama FTA Changes.” 2007 10 May. Available from <http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Media/pdf/110/05%2014%2007/05%2014%2007.pdf>. Accessed 25 April 2012

CompaLanceVogtJeffrey S. “Labor Rights in the Generalized System of Preferences: A 20-Year Review.” Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 2001 22 2/3 199 238

CurzonGerard Multilateral Commercial Diplomacy. 1966 New York, NY Praeger

DestlerI.M. American Trade Politics in 2007: Building Partisan Compromise 2007 Washington, D.C. Peterson Institute Policy Brief Number PB07-5

ElliottKimberly Ann DestlerI.M. “Appendix A: Treatment of Labor Issues in US Bilateral Trade Agreements,” American Trade Politics in 2007: Building Partisan Compromise 2007 Washington, D.C. Peterson Institute Policy Brief Number PB07-5

FergussonIanVaughnBruce The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. 2010 Washington, D.C. Congressional Research Service

GotliebAllan “Negotiating the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.” International Journal 1998 53 3 522 538

GresserEdward “Labor and Environment in Trade since NAFTA: Activists Have Achieved Less, and More, Than They Realize.” Wake Forest Law Review 2010 45 2 491 525

HaasErnst “Why Collaborate? Issue-linkage and International Regimes.” World Politics 1980 32 3 357 405

HaasPeter “Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination.” International Organization 1992 46 1 1 35

Hafner-BurtonEmilie Forced to Be Good: Why Trade Agreement Boost Human Rights 2009 Ithaca, NY Cornell University Press

HartMichaelDymondBillRobertsonColin Decision at Midnight: Inside the US-Canada Free Trade Negotiations 1994 Vancouver UBC Press

HelferLaurence R. “Regime Shifting: The TRIPS Agreement And New Dynamics Of International Intellectual Property Lawmaking.” Yale Journal of International Law 2004 29 1 1 84

HiggottRichard “After Neoliberal Globalization: The ‘Securitization’ of U.S. Foreign Economic Policy in East Asia.” Critical Asian Studies 2004 36 3 425 444

HornbeckJ.F. The U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement. 2012 Washington, D.C. Congressional Research Service

HufbauerG.C.GoodrichB. SchottJeffrey “Lessons from NAFTA,” Free Trade Agreements: U.S. Strategies and Priorities. 2004 Washington, D.C. Institute for International Economics

HufbauerG.C.JonesReginaldSchottJ.J. “North American Labor under NAFTA.” Institute for International Economics 2002

Inside U.S. Trade “Congress, Administration Trade Deal.” 2007 11 May

KohTommy KohTommyChangLi Lin “The USSFTA: A Personal Perspective,” The United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement: Highlight and Insights 2004 Singapore Institute of Policy Studies and World Scientific Publishing Co. Ltd.

LeebronDavid “Symposium: The Boundaries of the WTO: Linkages.” American Journal of International Law 2002 96 5 5 27

MayerFrederick Interpreting NAFTA: The Science of Art and Political Analysis 1998 New York, NY Columbia University Press

MearsheimerJohnWaltStephen . The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy 2007 New York, NY Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Office of the United States Trade Representative “Outlines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.” 2011 November. Available from <http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2011/november/outlines-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement>. Accessed 23 April 2012

OyeKenneth OyeKennethLieberRobertRothschildDonald “The Domain of Choice,” Eagle Entangled: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Complex World 1979 New York, NY Longman

RangelCharles B. “Moving Forward: A New Bipartisan Trade Policy that Reflects American Values.” Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation 2009 45 2 377 419

RosenHoward SchottJeffrey “Free Trade Agreements as Foreign Policy Tools: The US-Israel and US-Jordan FTAs,” Free Trade Agreements: U.S. Strategies and Priorities. 2004 Washington, D.C. Institute for International Economics

SohnYulGyo KooMin “Securitizing Trade: The Case of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 2011 11 3 433 460

SteinArt “The Politics of Linkage.” World Politics 1980 33 1 62 81

VogelDavid The Politics of Trade and Environment in the United States 1999 Berkeley Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, UC Berkeley Working Paper 94

VogelDavid AggarwalVinod K.GovellaKristi “Global Trade Linkages: National Security and Human Security,” Linking Trade and Security 2013 New York, NY Springer


Leebron (2002) uses “strategic” to refer to tactical linkages which is confusing given the longstanding use of the term “tactical.” He also discusses relational aspects of linkages focusing on how regimes might be linked in a deferential collaborative or autonomous manner. Although his terminology is different than Aggarwal’s (1998) terms hierarchical horizontal and independent it is conceptually identical.


Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 9 9 7
Full Text Views 8 8 8
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0