1887

Transnational Corporations

This journal takes a fresh look at major legal, sectorial, regional and environmental issues facing corporations operating internationally. Released three times a year, it provides in-depth policy-oriented research findings on significant issues relating to the activities of transnational corporations.

English

Global value chains and the fragmentation of trade policy coalitions

Recent decades have seen the emergence of global value chain (GVC) production arrangements in which firms fine-slice production processes and disperse activities over multiple countries. This paper analyses how the rise of GVCs affects trade politics in developed countries. Our theoretical model shows that GVCs drive a wedge between the interests of workers and of managers in unskilled-labourintensive industries, upsetting a traditional coalition that has favoured protectionism against competing imports. Managers of GVC firms switch towards favouring trade promotion since they can substitute foreign for local unskilled workers. The loss of their management ally further weakens the position of low-skilled workers, whose jobs and income are threatened by foreign competition. This new trend may help to explain the recent surge in anti-trade sentiment, while indicating the importance of an active policy response to deal with the economic challenges for affected

English

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