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The Free Trade Area Of The Asia- Pacific : A Constructive Approach To Multilateralizing Asian Regionalism

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  • C. Fred Bergsten

    (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))

  • Marcus Noland
  • Jeffrey J. Schott

Abstract

This paper examines the prospect of realizing regional economic integration via the mechanism of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The FTAAP initiative represents a politically ambitious, high potential benefit option for achieving Asian regional integration. Among its desirable attributes, the FTAAP initiative could help revive and promote a successful conclusion of the Doha Round negotiations; constitute a “Plan B†hedge if Doha fails; short-circuit the further proliferation of bilateral and sub-regional preferential agreements that create substantial new discrimination and discord within the Asia-Pacific region; defuse the renewed risk of “drawing a line down the middle of the Pacific†as East Asian, and perhaps the Western Hemisphere, initiatives produce disintegration of the Asia-Pacific region rather than the integration of that broader region that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was created to foster; channel the People’s Republic of China (PRC)-United States economic conflict into a more constructive and less confrontational context; and revitalize APEC, which is of enhanced importance because of the prospects for Asia-Pacific and especially the PRC-US fissures. An incremental approach to the FTAAP, explicitly embodying enforceable reciprocal commitments, offers the best hope delivering on the concept’s abundant benefits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Governance Working Papers with number 23200.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eab:govern:23200

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Keywords: Regional Economic Integration; free trade area; the Asia-Pacific; Asian regionalism; APEC;

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  1. C. Fred Bergsten, 2005. "The United States and the World Economy: Foreign Economic Policy for the Next Decade," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3802.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Assessing China's exchange rate regime," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 22, pages 575-627, 07.
  3. Manchin, Miriam & Pelkmans-Balaoing, Annette O., 2008. "Clothes without an Emperor: Analysis of the preferential tariffs in ASEAN," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 213-223, June.
  4. Mary E. Burfisher & Sherman Robinson & Karen Thierfelder, 2001. "The Impact of NAFTA on the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 125-144, Winter.
  5. C. Fred Bergsten & Bates Gill & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2006. "China: The Balance Sheet What the World Needs to Know Now about the Emerging Superpower," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa04648.
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