Despite the increased attention to foreign influence in US domestic policy since the 2016 election, very few scholars have directly studied how foreign influence can shape a state’s foreign policy. This study applies the framework of two-level games to study two cases of foreign influence operations in US trade negotiations. Specifically, this Independent Study will examine the debate over China’s Most Favored Nation status in the United States during the Clinton administration as well as the KORUS ratification debates during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. This study concludes that many foreign governments have become adept at influencing the US foreign policy establishment. Political influence operations and other forms of suasive reverberations can have a significant impact on the success of the ratification of a treaty.


Lantis, Jeffrey


Political Science


American Politics | Asian History | Asian Studies | Chinese Studies | Comparative Politics | International Law | International Relations | International Trade Law | Korean Studies | Political History | Public Relations and Advertising | Social Influence and Political Communication


Foreign Influence, Lobbying, China, US Foreign Policy, Korea, Trade, Most Favored Nation, Free Trade Agreement, Clinton, Obama, Bush, Suasive Reverberations, Putnam, Two-level games

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 J. Mathew Mayes