International Trade Theory and Policy
by Steven M. Suranovic

Trade 10-6

Voluntary Import Expansions (VIEs)

A Voluntary Import Expansion (VIE) is an agreement to increase the quantity of imports of a product over a specified period of time. In the late 1980s, VIEs were suggested by the US as a way of expanding US exports into Japanese markets. Under the assumption that Japan maintained barriers to trade that restricted the entry of US exports, Japan was asked to increase its volume of imports on specified products including semiconductors, automobiles, auto parts, medical equipment and flat glass. The intention was that VIEs would force a pattern of trade that more closely replicated the free trade level.

Since the early 1990s, VIEs have rarely been mentioned in public policy discussions.

International Trade Theory and Policy - Chapter 10-6: Last Updated on 2/13/07