IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

U.S. Free Trade Agreements in East Asia: Politics, Economics, and Security Policy in the Bush Administration


  • Stephen Hoadley


The Bush Administration has initiated nearly two dozen bilateral and bi-multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) in the past six years. These FTAs are valued as not only advancing U.S. economic interests but also serving foreign policy and security interests. Their perceived utility as new foreign policy instruments emerged in the wake of the stagnation of multilateral trade liberalization deliberations in the WTO forum and was amplified by the exigencies of the U.S. war on terrorism launched in 2001. The FTA phenomenon is a manifestation of a pragmatic realist neo-mercantilist approach. U.S. FTA initiatives in Asia are driven primarily by economic interests, but this article points out that security interests are also significant. An FTA with Singapore, in which security elements were implicit alongside the explicit economic aims, was an early success. But opposition to U.S. proposals by national actors and interest groups in Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and other potential FTA partners is substantial and progress is slow. The resulting agreements are likely to fall short of WTO-plus comprehensiveness, and may be marred by carve-outs and prolonged phase-ins. U.S. employment of FTAs in Asia is best seen as an extension of familiar policy efforts to protect or advance U.S. economic interests in a _uid political-economic arena. But these FTAs are not likely to alter the pattern of hegemony in Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Hoadley, 2007. "U.S. Free Trade Agreements in East Asia: Politics, Economics, and Security Policy in the Bush Administration," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 26(1), pages 52-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:15:y:2007:i:1:p:52-76

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:15:y:2007:i:1:p:52-76. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marco B√ľnte) or (Howard Loewen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.