Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do
Bargaining with Japan is a detailed critical examination of the outcome of recent U.S.-Japan trade talks, focusing on the Bush administration's Structural Impediments Initiative and the more recent Clinton Framework talks. Leonard J. Schoppa provides a comprehensive account of the political climate on both sides of the Pacific which necessitated the talks and brought about their decidedly uneven results, drawing lessons from this record about which tactics are most likely to work best for the U.S. He shows that while the Bush administration was somewhat successful in inducing Japan to liberalize regulations restricting the expansion of large retail stores, and to expand public investment, neither administration was able to compel Japan to end anti-competitive practices that inhibit the access of U.S. firms to Japanese consumers.
Schoppa explains why foreign pressure (gaiatsu) worked in some cases but not others by explicating the "two-level game" involved in the bargaining process: for a deal to be successful, it must please not only those on the international level, but also those on the domestic front. Slight differences in either political climate can alter the impact of foreign pressure dramatically. Schoppa documents how U.S. pressure has been misapplied in the past, insisting on the need for a strategy more informed about internal Japanese politics. While a strategy reliant on brute force is liable to backfire, he argues, one which works with domestic politics in Japan can succeed.
An invaluable reference guide for political scientists, economists, negotiators, or anyone looking to understand the United States' complex economic relationship with Japan, Bargaining with Japan is also an important contribution to the current literature on international bargaining.
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