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Toward a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific


  • C. Fred Bergsten

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


At their latest annual summit in Vietnam in November 2006, the leaders of the 21 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum agreed to "seriously consider" negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). The FTAAP initiative may well turn out to be the best, or perhaps only, way to catalyze a substantively successful Doha Round. If it cannot do that, an FTAAP can still offer a Plan B to restore the momentum of trade liberalization, prevent further proliferation of bilateral and subregional preferential trade arrangements, avoid renewed risk of "drawing a line down the middle of the Pacific," channel the US-China economic conflict into a more constructive, less confrontational context, and revitalize APEC itself. Perhaps most important, an FTAAP could maintain US engagement in Asian, and even global, trade relations by providing a basis for congressional extension of trade promotion authority in mid-2007 and a negotiating momentum that the next US president in early 2009 will feel compelled to maintain.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Fred Bergsten, 2007. "Toward a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific," Policy Briefs PB07-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:pbrief:pb07-2

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    Cited by:

    1. Wignaraja, Ganeshan & Ramizo, Dorothea & Burmeister, Luca, 2012. "Asia-Latin America Free Trade Agreements: An Instrument for Inter-Regional Liberalization and Integration?," ADBI Working Papers 382, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. Siow Yue Chia, 2010. "Regional Trade Policy Cooperation and Architecture in East Asia," Trade Working Papers 22029, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Kawai, Masahiro & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2011. "Asian FTAs: Trends, prospects and challenges," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-22, February.
    4. Baldwin, Richard & Kawai, Masahiro, 2013. "Multilateralizing Asian Regionalism," ADBI Working Papers 431, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    5. Kim , Sangkyom & Park , Innwon & Park , Soonchan, 2013. "A Free Trade Area of Asia Pacific (FTAAP): Is It Desirable?," East Asian Economic Review, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, vol. 17(1), pages 3-25, March.
    6. Medalla, Erlinda M. & Balboa, Jenny D., 2007. "Shaping APEC: Perspectives from the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 2007-04, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    7. Erlinda M. Medalla & Jenny Balboa, 2007. "Shaping APEC : Perspectives from the Philippines," Development Economics Working Papers 21908, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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