Legislative influence, whose intention is to sway government decisions, extensively impacts the trade policies of nations with extreme interests. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and interest groups exhibit some differences that come with considerable advantages as well as limitations. Lobbying can be categorized into two whereby outside lobbying influences decision-making and culminates in positive administration relations, while outside lobbying uses platforms such as the public and the media to manipulate verdicts. The United States of America has, in the recent past, experienced lobby influence in most of its critical decisions made. As a result, its relationship with countries such as China has been affected, necessitating the adoption of measures such as tariffs to address rising trade interests.
On the one hand, interest groups/ NGOs are limited to the interior matters of the national level within a country’s jurisdiction. Their focus is drawn to domestic concerns as opposed to overseas policies (Skonieczny, 2017). They have the lobbying benefit given the readily available support they receive from the public on domestic matters of concern. Its advantage is that it requires fewer finances compared to corporate lobbying, whereas its limitation is the underrepresentation it exhibits in expert group representations.
On the other, corporate lobbies form a platform on which lobbyists employ “advocacy efforts” aimed at financially servicing objectives such as studies as opposed to campaigns only. Corporate lobbies establish policy formulation and execution. It forms a part of the political components that are not only limited to making campaign financial contributions but also promoting a scholarly agenda (Skonieczny, 2017). Its advantage is that during contributions, advocacy efforts such as funding of think tank studies are met. However, its limitation is that it has an uncertain outcome withstanding the huge finances used.
Interest Groups outside Lobbying Versus Corporations inside Lobbying
Corporations enjoy direct contact with government representatives because of the potential rewards they promise, thereby exhibiting inside lobbying. Interest groups are limited to the use of public platforms such as the media and constituents because they fight against government policies that are a form of outside lobbying. In inside lobbying, legislative officials are offered money and pledged with votes by influential NGOs in direct contact. In outside lobbying, interest groups and NGOs employ compelling means such as protests that pile pressure to influence a particular decision (“NGOs,” n.d.). It is essential to note that in both cases, the objective is to pile political pressure to influence the outcome of anticipated decisions.
Influence of Lobbies on US Trade Policy with China
Trade forms an integral part both to the United States of America and China governments. Starting the year 2015, the US lobbyists have been spending up to a minimum of $2.6 billion (Skonieczny, 2017). The magnitude of this influence has impacted the trade policy relationship between the two countries. Lobbying influenced the US’s decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel against China (Martinez, 2019). This was done on allegations of security interests. In retaliation, allies and countries of interest have protested pledging consequential actions that have resulted in a trade war. China imposed a $110 billion as a response to the US’s $250 billion tariffs (Martinez, 2019). Thus the impact of lobbies can be seen as it further predisposes smaller countries to unintended trade wars.
It is certain to argue that NGOs and corporate lobby groups’ influence in political decisions is immense, given the mechanisms they employ both inside and outside lobbying. The US-China trade war policies are a revelation of the intensity that comes with such lobby groups withstanding the uncertainty of the policies being influenced. Deductively, it is essential to note that the ideas championed are not necessarily in the interests of the ordinary citizens since money is involved.
Martinez, L. (2019, February 28). Lobbying pays, but for whom? The case of the US-China … Retrieved from https://ksr.hkspublications.org/2019/02/28/lobbying-pays-but-for-whom-the-case-of-the-us-china-trade-war/.
NGOs, interest groups, American minorities in foreign policy. (n.d.). PDF
Skonieczny, A. (2017). Corporate lobbying in foreign policy. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.420