Case #1825.0

Pakistani Textile Exports, Fast Track, and the US War on Terror: A Collision of Foreign and Trade Policy Goals

Publication Date: January 31, 2006
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In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan suddenly became a top foreign policy concern for the administration of President George W. Bush. In the turbulent days following the strikes, it was uncertain how much support Pakistan would provide as the Bush administration began contemplating military action against Pakistani neighbor Afghanistan, whose Taliban government was harboring suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. There was also concern that if Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf did help the US, the people of Pakistan might rebel, leading to even more instability in the region. To help forestall that possibility, the Bush administration began considering trade concessions for Pakistan's textile and apparel exports to the US, specifically expanded quotas or the elimination of tariffs on such products. This case tells the story of the political actions that developed as a result of the White House proposal to grant such concessions. It focuses both on the interest group politics that arose--including opposition from the domestic US textile industry--and on the complexity of the legislative politics that developed when the question of granting trade relief became entangled with a push in the House of Representatives to pass critical trade legislation giving President Bush greater trade negotiating authority. The case details how representatives of the US administration, Congress, the Pakistani government, and the textile and apparel industries in both countries all sought to influence the shape and size of the trade package the administration ultimately would offer.

Other Details

Case Author:
Susan Rosegrant
Faculty Lead:
Robert Lawrence
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States, Pakistan