Accession to TPP: Veto Power and “Opt-Out” Option

  • Shintaro HamanakaEmail author
Part of the Economics, Law, and Institutions in Asia Pacific book series (ELIAP)


One of the most important policy questions relating to the future impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the global and regional economy is whether other countries in the region, particularly China, will join the partnership. While several commentators have made some observations regarding the future prospects of TPP expansion, little scholarly analysis has been conducted. To go beyond the speculation of a certain country’s accession to TPP, we first attempt to generalize the issue before moving on to a specific question. We conduct a comparative analysis of a large number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) for a better understanding of the parameters of RTAs that are critical for membership expansion. This general framework enables us to conduct a systematic examination of specific membership expansion cases, such as China’s membership in TPP. The paper also proposes a necessary “accession practice” that truly facilitates new members’ participation to TPP and RTAs in general.


Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) Membership Accession Veto Opt-out 


  1. Baldwin, R., & Low, P. (2009). Introduction. In R. Baldwin & P. Low (Eds.), Multilateralizing regionalism. Cambridge University Press, World Trade Organization. Google Scholar
  2. Block, J. G., & Herrup, A. R. (1994). Addressing environmental concerns regarding Chilean Accession to NAFTA. 10 Connecticut Journal of International Law, 221.Google Scholar
  3. Capie, D., & Evans, P. (2002). The Asia-Pacific security Lexicon. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chia, S. Y., & Pangestu, M. (2005). Regionalism and bilateralism in ASEAN. In S. K. Jayasuriya (Ed.), Trade policy reforms and development, Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  5. Elms, D., & Lim, C. L. (2012). An overview and snapshot of the TPP negotiations. In C. L. Lim, D. Elms & P. Low (Eds), The trans-Pacific partnership, a quest for a twenty-first-century trade agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gantz, D. A. (2003). Evolution of FTA investment provisions: From NAFTA to the United States-Chile free trade agreement. American University International Law Review, 19, 679.Google Scholar
  7. Gao, H. (2012). From the P4 to the TPP: Transplantation or transformation? In C.L. Lim, D. Elms, & P. Low (Eds.), The trans-Pacific Partnership, a quest for a twenty-first-century trade agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Haas, D.A. (1993). ‘Out of Others’ Shadows: ASEAN moves toward greater regional cooperation in the face of the EC and NAFTA. American University Journal of International Law & Policy, 9, 809.Google Scholar
  9. Hamanaka, S. (2012). Unexpected usage of enabling clause? Proliferation of bilateral trade agreements in Asia. Journal of World Trade, 46.Google Scholar
  10. Hamanaka, S. (2014a). Finding non-notified trade agreements to the WTO: Preliminary investigation in Asia-Pacific. Journal of World Trade, 48, 1077.Google Scholar
  11. Hamanaka, S. (2014b). TPP versus RCEP: Control of membership and agenda setting. Journal of East Asian Economic Integration, 18, 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. James, S. (2010). Is the trans-Pacific partnership worth the fuss? Free Trade Bulletin, 40 (Washington, DC: Cato Institute 2010) 1.Google Scholar
  13. Kelley, J. (2004). International actors on the domestic scene: Membership conditionality and socialization by international institutions. International Organization, 425. doi: 10.1017/S0020818304583017.
  14. Krauss, E., & Pempel, T. J. (2007). Beyond bilateralism: US–Japan relations in the New Asia-Pacific. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Miller, M. A. (1996). Will the circle be unbroken-Chile’s accession to the NAFTA and the fast-track debate. Valparaiso University Law Review, 31, 153.Google Scholar
  16. Ruggie, J. G. (1992). Multilateralism: The anatomy of an institution. International Organization, 46, 561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Salazar, J. (2005). A Chile–New Zealand CEP? The concept of coopetition and the politics of trade liberalization. Lecture at Political Science and International Relations Programme of Victoria University of Wellington. 15 March.Google Scholar
  18. Zahralddin-Aravena, R. X. (1997). Chilean accession to NAFTA: US failure and Chilean success. North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 23, 53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IDE-JETROChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations