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Firms in the United States have many political advantages when compared to other groups in society. They are the best-represented group in our nation's capital; they operate more Political Action Committees; and their lobbyists are among the most experienced political operatives. Yet firms are uncertain about their political power and hence about the effectiveness of their political strategies. This book deals with how firms decide which strategy to pursue among the existing alternatives when it comes to defending policies that play to their interests.
Sandra Suárez looks at the efforts of business to influence government policy in a detailed study of the efforts of major American corporations to protect the tax credit applicable to profits from investments in Puerto Rico. This rare longitudinal case-study explores the abilities of U.S. pharmaceutical and electronics companies to adapt their political strategies to a fluid and uncertain political environment. Drawing on interviews with tax lawyers, corporate lobbyists and government officials, the author follows the behavior of the same group of companies over the past twenty years.
This book advances a learning-based explanation of business political behavior, which argues that past political experience accounts for patterns of political behavior that government structures and salient issues alone cannot explain. Centered on attempts to protect an important tax break for business, the possessions tax battles provide an appropriate case for examining the value of the business learning approach.
Although written with a political science audience in mind, this book addresses issues that will resonate widely with sociologists, management researchers and students alike.