Manifest Destiny and the Pacific Century: Europe as No.3?

  • Robert O’Brien


Reflecting upon the changes of the early post-Cold War era, the Director of the Washington based think-tank Institute for International Economics argued that future US foreign policy would be characterized by the ’primacy of economics.’1 With the end of the bipolar nuclear standoff, attention would move to economic relations between the triad powers in Europe, the Americas and East Asia. Security concerns would still exist, but they would not be the primary focus of US foreign policy as they had been in the Cold War environment. Although such an argument might be expected from the head of an economics institute, there is substantial support both for the view that economic issues are increasingly salient and that the rise of the Asia-Pacific region is a major challenge to US policy.


Foreign Direct Investment Foreign Policy Free Trade Regional Integration Pacific Century 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    C. Fred Bergsten, ‘The Primacy of Economics,’ Foreign Policy Vol.87, Summer 1992, pp.3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a general discussion of the possibility of overlapping interests in the state-firm relationship see John H. Dunning, ‘Governments and Multinational Enterprises: From Confrontation to Co-operation?,’ Millennium: Journal of International Studies Vol.20, Summer 1991, pp.225–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Strategies for the state in this environment can be found in Robert Reich, The Work of Nations Vintage Books, New York, 1992;Google Scholar
  4. John Stopford and Susan Strange, Rival States, Rival Firms Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. and Michael Porter, The Competitive Advantage of Nations Free Press, New York, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 3.
    On the structural power of capital see Stephen Gill and David Law, ‘Global Hegemony and the Structural Power of Capital,’ International Studies Quarterly Vol.33, 1989, pp.475–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Thomas J. Biersteker outlines the constraints on developing countries in ‘The Triumph of Neoclassical Economics in the Developing World’ James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel, (eds.), Governance Without Government: Order and Change in World Politics Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, pp.102–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 5.
    Herald 25 September, quoted in Norman A. Graebner (ed.), Manifest Destiny Bobbs-Merril, New York, 1968, p.xxxvii.Google Scholar
  9. 6.
    For a review of disputes in the areas of the National Energy Policy, softwood lumber and culture in the early 1980s see David Leyton-Brown, Weathering the Storm: Canadian-US Relations, 1980–1983 Canadian American Committee, Toronto, 1985.Google Scholar
  10. 7.
    The Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement has generated a huge literature, partially because of its controversial nature. A pro-FTA collection of papers is contained in John Crispo (ed.), Free Trade: The Real Story Gage, Toronto, 1988 while Linda McQuaig provides a critique of the government’s neoliberal policies in The Quick and the Dead Viking, Toronto, 1991.Google Scholar
  11. A balanced collection of short essays is Marc Gold and David Leyton-Brown (eds.), Trade-offs on Free Trade Carswell, Toronto, 1988,Google Scholar
  12. while two useful books on the negotiations themselves are Bruce Doern and Brian Tomlin, Faith and Fear Stoddart, Toronto, 1991,Google Scholar
  13. and Michael Hart, Decision at Midnight UBC Press, Vancouver, 1994.Google Scholar
  14. and with Marc Levinson, ‘A Canadian Opportunity,’ Foreign Policy Vol.66, Spring 1986, pp.143–155.Google Scholar
  15. 9.
    Robert O’Brien, ‘The Canada-US Subsidy Negotiations: Socioeconomic Harmonization as the Price for Market Access?,’ Global Restructuring: Canada in the 1990s Association for Canadian Studies, Montreal, 1992, pp.49–76.Google Scholar
  16. 10.
    For background material see Nora Lustig, The Remaking of an Economy Brookings, Washington, 1992;Google Scholar
  17. Sidney Weintraub, Transforming the Mexican Economy: The Salinas Sexino National Planning Association, Washington, 1990;Google Scholar
  18. and Miguel Ramirez, Mexico’s Economic Crisis: Its Origins and Consequences Praeger, New York, 1989.Google Scholar
  19. ll.
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Jeffrey J. Schott, ‘Prescription for Growth,’ Foreign Policy Vol.93, Winter 1993–1994, p.109. Peter Morici also stresses the advantage of gaining competitiveness over Asian producers in ‘Free Trade with Mexico,’ Foreign Policy Vol.87, Summer 1992, pp.88–104.Google Scholar
  20. 12.
    Paul Krugman, ‘The Uncomfortable Truth About NAFTA,’ Foreign Affairs Vol.72, No.5, November/December 1993, p.13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 13.
    William D. Rogers tries to make the connection between issues such as improved economic relations, immigration concerns and reducing the flow of drugs from Mexico in ‘Approaching Mexico,’ Foreign Policy Vol.72, 1988, pp.196–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 14.
    Background leading up to the EM is provided in Eduardo Gitli and Gunilla Ryd, ’Latin American Integration and the Enterprise for the Americans Initiative’ Journal of World Trade Vol.26, No.5, August 1992, pp.25–45.Google Scholar
  23. 15.
    Anthony Payne considers the changing role of the Caribbean in ‘US Hegemony and the Reconfiguration of the Caribbean,’ Review of International Studies Vol.20, No.2, April 1994, pp.149–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 16.
    Robert Pastor, ‘The Latin American Option,’ Foreign Policy Vol.88, Fall 1992, pp.107–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 19.
    A dated, but interesting, example of the cautionary approach from a European perspective is provided by Christopher Coker ‘The Pacific Century: Myth or Reality,’ in Cheng-Wen Tasi (ed.), Impact of Pacifrc Century on Euro-Asian Relations National Taiwan University, Taipei, 1988, pp.3–16.Google Scholar
  26. Bruce Cumings takes a critical approach to the liberal view of a thriving Asia-Pacific Community in ‘Rimspeak; or, The Discourse of the Pacific Rim,’ in Arif Dirlik (ed.), What is in a Rim?: Critical Perspectives on the Pacifec Region Idea Westview Press, Boulder, 1993, pp.29–47.Google Scholar
  27. 20.
    Wendy Dobson and Lee Tsao, ‘APEC co-operation Amidst Diversity,’ ASEAN Economic Bulletin Vol.10, No.3, March 1994, p.232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 21.
    More traditional estimates put the US-Japanese share of world GDP at close to 40%. Joseph S. Nye, Jr., ‘Coping With Japan,’ Foreign Policy Vol.89, Winter 1992, p.97.Google Scholar
  29. 22.
    Statistics in this paragraph are taken from Ippei Yamazawa, ‘On Pacific Economic Integration,’ The Economic Journal Vol.102, November 1992, pp.1519–1529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 24.
    Robert B. Oxnam, ‘Asia/Pacific Challenges,’ Foreign Affairs Vol.72, No.1, 1992/1993, p.57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 25.
    Statistics in this paragraph are taken from Arvind Panagariya, ‘East Asia in the New Regionalism in World Trade,’ The World Economy Vol.17, No.6, November 1994, pp.817–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 26.
    Sheng-Yann Lii, ‘Japanese Direct Foreign Investment and Trade Flows in the Asia-Pacific Region,’ Asian Economic Journal Vol.8, No.21, 1994, p.201.Google Scholar
  33. 27.
    William R. Nester, Japan’s Growing Power East Asia and the World Economy Macmillan, London, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 28.
    Stephen Guisinger, ‘Foreign Direct Investment Flows in East and South East Asia,’ ASEAN Economic Bulletin Vol.8, No.1, July 1991, p.30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 30.
    S. Javed Maswood, ‘Japan and East Asian Regionalism,’ ASEAN Economic Bulletin Vol.11, No.1, July 1994, p.74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 33.
    Stuart Harris provides a helpful overview of the elite nature of the project in ‘Policy Networks and Economic Cooperation: Policy Coordination in the Asia-Pacific Region,’ The Pacfc Review Vol.7, No.4, 1994, pp.381–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 35.
    See Donald Crone, ‘The Politics of Emerging Pacific Cooperation,’ Pacific Affairs Vol.65, No.1, Spring 1992, pp.50–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 39.
    Eminent Person Group, ‘A Vision for APEC,’ Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Singapore, 1993.Google Scholar
  39. 41.
    Walden Bello and Eric Blantz set out a number of ways in which such groups could influence Asia-Pacific relations in ‘Perils and Possibilities: Carving Out Alternative Order in the Pacific,’ Alternatives Vol.17, 1992, p.2.Google Scholar
  40. 43.
    Helen V. Milner, Resisting Protections: Global Industries and the Politics of International Trade Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1988.Google Scholar
  41. 44.
    Economic predictions about the positive effects of the Canada-US FTA and the EC 1992 project tended to be on the optimistic side and were thrown off by other economic factors such as low inflation policies, currency instability or recession. Michael E. Conroy and Amy K. Glasmeier raise the possibility of heavy NAFTA adjustment costs in ‘Unprecedented Disparities, Unparalleled Adjustment Needs: Winners and Losers on the NAFTA Fast Track,’ Journal of Interamerican Affairs Vol.34, No.4, Winter 1992–1993, pp.1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 47.
    US labour gradually has been moving to a more internationalist perspective and NAFTA seems to have accelerated this movement. For an internationalist perspective see Jeremy Brecher and Tim Costello, Global Village vs. Global Pillage: A One World Strategy for Labor ILREF, Washington, 1991.Google Scholar
  43. 50.
    See, for example, James C. Clad, ‘Slowing the Wave,’ and Jeffrey S. Passel and Michael Fix, ‘Myths About Immigrants,’ Foreign Policy Vol.95, Summer 1994, pp.139–160.Google Scholar
  44. 52.
    For an in-depth analysis of the US system see I.M. Destler, American Trade Politics 2nd.ed., Institute for International Economics, Washington, 1992.Google Scholar
  45. 55.
    Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers Random House, New York, 1987.Google Scholar
  46. 61.
    George Segal, ‘The Coming Confrontation between China and Japan?,’ World Policy Journal Vo1.X, No.2, Summer 1993, pp.27–32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert O’Brien

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations