"Trade policies of the European Union have not followed the simple script of free trade. In some sectors, protection has been granted, in others, far-reaching liberalisation has occured. In the European Union, a politics of freer trade has developed over the decades, a very particular phenomenon not found in single nation-states around the globe. Deep-seated commitments of governments to the social purposes of the welfare state have played a considerable role in the shaping of national and Community trade policy preferences. The politics of freer trade has originated in the very unstructured nature of policy-making itself. Trade policy usually takes place in the context of simultaneous bargaining at national, Community, and external negotiation tables - in complex three-level games. However, socio economic and political coalitions for freer external trade have emerged in a considerable number of issue-ares. These coalitions comprise the ""open regionalists"" among governments of member states, the Commission, and liberal constituencies. Often, international pressure is essential as well, as in the cases of the farm trade negotiations in the Uruguay Round of the GATT or of trade deplomacy with Japan in the automotive sector. Both case studies are analysed in this book. Institutional reforms aimed at enhancing the capacity of the European Union to cope with societal and diplomatic pressures in future are suggested. Multilateral policies for free trade in the world economy are in the best political and economic interest of the European Union itself. Co-published with St. Martin's Press, New York."