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Reference no. HKS1393.0
Published by:
Harvard Kennedy School (1997)
12 pages


This case about decision-making at the Presidential level focuses on a question before the Ford Administration in early 1976: whether to provide some sort of relief for the beleaguered U.S. footwear (shoe) industry, then buffeted by increasingly successful competition from lower-cost, non- US manufacturers. The case can serve as a vehicle to discuss the dynamics of trade policy; it provides extensive detail about changes in the footwear industry and the effects of those changes on firms and their employees. The larger purpose of the case, however, is to serve as means to discuss how a nation''s chief executive sorts out competing claims and recommendations; in this instance, advisors at a series of levels are evenly divided on the question of whether assistance is warranted; there is division, too, on what the nature of such assistance might be, if it were to be adopted. The case, written by Roger Porter, who served as chief domestic policy advisor to President George Bush, allows for a discussion in which political and policy considerations come together at the highest level of the United States government.


Decision making; International; International trade; Leadership

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