Diminished giant or vanguard for liberalization? The U.S. And the regionalization of trade

Academic Article


  • Preferential trading arrangements, in the form of regional blocs, have emerged as a popular policy tool for the United States. Blocs are viewed by some policymakers and scholars as an effective defensive measure for shoring up declining U.S. economic power. Others view blocs as a more practical first step toward multilateral liberalization. Critics of blocs view them as a suboptimal solution to economic problems which at best diverts time and resources better spent working toward multilateralism and at worst encourages protectionism, distrust, and confusion among states. This study seeks to examine the consequences of such policies for U.S. trading behavior. More specifically, U.S. trading patterns are examined, within the context of the global trading order, to determine the extent to which the U.S. is a regional or a global actor. Covering the period from 1950 to 1990, this study employs asymmetric multidimensional scaling to spatially place U.S. trading patterns in the world trading order. Results indicate that U.S. trading patterns are "global" with respect to developed states.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Blanton RG
  • Start Page

  • 783
  • End Page

  • 805
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 4