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Trading BarriersImmigration and the Remaking of Globalization$
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Margaret E. Peters

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174488

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174488.001.0001

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Policymakers’ Responses to Firms in the United States

Policymakers’ Responses to Firms in the United States

(p.116) Chapter 5 Policymakers’ Responses to Firms in the United States
Trading Barriers

Margaret E. Peters

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the effect of trade openness, firm mobility, and productivity on support for immigration in the United States by analyzing immigration votes in the Senate. It considers two time periods when senators did not have control over the most important policies that affected trade and firm mobility. In the first period, 1865–1945, the chapter explores how the creation of a national market affected voting on immigration. In the second period, 1945–2008, the competitive pressures on firms and their ability to move production overseas fluctuated with changes in other countries' willingness to allow foreign direct investment, technological innovation, and US trade protection, which was moved out of the hands of senators with the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA). The chapter shows that increased “Americanization” and globalization of the economy led senators increasingly to vote for immigration restrictions.

Keywords:   trade openness, firm mobility, productivity, immigration, Senate, immigration votes, trade, firms, Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA), immigration restrictions

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