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Pro-Trade Blocs in the US Congress

  • ByungKoo Kim EMAIL logo und Iain Osgood EMAIL logo
Aus der Zeitschrift The Forum


Who supports trade in the US Congress? We uncover the ideological space of trade voting, focusing on trade agreements and development policy as two fundamental cleavages around globalization. We then cluster members of Congress into coherent voting blocs, and identify the most pro-trade voting blocs in each Chamber. We find that these blocs: cross party lines; are ideologically heterogeneous; and are over-represented on the committees with jurisdiction over trade. We then examine two leading theories of Congressional voting – on constituency characteristics and campaign contributions – and find support for each using our learned voting blocs. Members of pro-trade blocs have defended their constituents’ and contributors’ interests by speaking out to confront the Trump administration’s protectionism. We conclude that unsupervised learning methods provide a valuable tool for exploring the multifaceted and dynamic divisions which characterize current debates over global economic integration.

Corresponding authors: ByungKoo Kim, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, Haven Hall, 505 S. State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA, and Iain Osgood Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, Haven Hall, 505 S. State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (https://doi.org/10.1515/for-2019-0035).

Published Online: 2020-03-05

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Heruntergeladen am 1.10.2023 von https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/for-2019-0035/html?lang=de
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