Old Issues in New Regionalism
There has been a burst of interest in regional trading arrangements in the Asia Pacific region. Business pressures, frustration with the multilateral process, renewed interests in regional autonomy and domino effects have contributed to the interest in a preferential route. But the use of these arrangements leads to serious risks of new layers of discrimination in the regional trading system, and to a marked change in strategy for trade liberalisation in East Asia. Hopes that this route to reform will be successful may yet be disappointed. Even so, individual economies must design strategic responses to the change in the policy environment, with a long-run goal of returning liberalisation to the nondiscriminatory track.
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