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Abstract

This study views multilateral trade negotiations as a strategic game among nations or regions, including taxpayer, consumer, and producer components. Payoffs are calculated from an intermediate-run international trade model initialized with 1989 data. For the public at large, the Nash equilibrium and socially optimal outcome is liberalization of trade - unilateral or multilateral. Maintenance of the status quo of market distortions costing the world billions of dollars each year is rational only if producer payoffs are sovereign so that strategies optimal for producers are considered optimal for nations. Remedial policies are discussed, including opportunities for economic education, political system reform, and less incentives for producers to scuttle multilateral trade negotiations.

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