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Free Trade Agreements and Domestic Politics: The Case of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement


  • Naoi is grateful for JSPA Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A-20243009: Globalization and Domestic Politics, 2008–2012) for financial support for the survey used in this paper and Ikuo Kume for allowing us to use the data. Jason Kuo provided excellent research assistance.


What is the role of domestic politics in facilitating or constraining a government's decision to participate in free trade agreements (FTAs)? This paper seeks to answer this question by focusing on the domestic politics in Japan over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). In particular, we ask why the opposition to the TPP encompasses a much broader segment of society than is predicted by trade theorems. We show that a broader protectionist coalition can emerge through persuasion and policy campaigns by the elites, in particular, powerful protectionist interests expending resources to persuade the uncertain public.

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