The Domestic Political Economy of Preferential Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific

Part of the The Political Economy of the Asia Pacific book series (PEAP)


East Asian countries are now pursuing greater formal economic institutionalization, weaving a web of bilateral and minilateral preferential trade agreements (PTAs). This new dynamic was driven home most dramatically with regard to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In February 2003, China signed a surprise PTA framework agreement with the 10 ASEAN countries pledging free trade by 2010. In response, in October 2003, Japan signed a PTA framework agreement with ASEAN. Alarmed by Sino-Japanese competition in Southeast Asia, South Korea jumped ahead of Japan and signed a PTA of its own with ASEAN in May 2006. The ASEAN+3 (including Japan, China, and South Korea) has been having regular meetings and the East Asia Summit (EAS) brings together an additional three countries including India, Australia, and New Zealand. Meanwhile, the USA has become an active promoter of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) under the auspices of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and more recently of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) that would link existing, and create new, bilateral trade agreements among Asia-Pacific countries.


World Trade Organization Trade Strategy Trade Liberalization East Asian Country North American Free Trade Agreement 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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