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Managing the Noodle Bowl: The Fragility of East Asian Regionalism

  • Baldwin, Richard E.

    ()

    (Graduate Institute of International Studies)

The paper argues that East Asian regionalism is fragile because (i) each nation's industrial competitiveness depends on the smooth functioning of "Factory Asia" - in particular for intraregional trade; (ii) the unilateral tariff-cutting that created Factory Asia is not subject to WTO discipline (bindings); (iii) there is no "top-level management"; to substitute for WTO discipline, to ensure that bilateral trade tensions - tensions that are inevitable in East Asia - do not spill over into region-wide problems due to lack of cooperation and communication. This paper argues that the window of opportunity for East Asian vision was missed; what East Asia needs now is management, not vision. East Asia should launch a "New East Asian Regional Management Effort" with a reinforced ASEAN+3 leading the way. The first priority should be to bind the region's unilateral tariff cuts into the WTO.

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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank in its series Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration with number 7.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0007
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  1. Daisuke Hiratsuka, 2011. "Production Networks in Asia : A Case Study from the Hard Disk Drive Industry," Trade Working Papers 23235, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  2. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2003. "Fragmentation and agglomeration matter: Japanese multinationals in Latin America and East Asia," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 287-317, December.
  3. Richard E. Baldwin, 1997. "The Causes of Regionalism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(7), pages 865-888, November.
  4. Patricia Augier & Michael Gasiorek & Charles Lai Tong, 2005. "The impact of rules of origin on trade flows," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 567-624, 07.
  5. Kimura, Fukunari & Takahashi, Yuya & Hayakawa, Kazunobu, 2007. "Fragmentation and parts and components trade: Comparison between East Asia and Europe," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-40, February.
  6. repec:rus:hseeco:123689 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Fukao, Kyoji & Ishido, Hikari & Ito, Keiko, 2003. "Vertical Intra-Industry Trade and Foreign Direct Investment in East Asia," Discussion Paper Series a434, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Mitsuyo Ando & Fukunari Kimura, 2005. "The Formation of International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14, pages 177-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  10. repec:idb:brikps:9179 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. O G Dayaratna Banda & John Whalley, 2005. "Beyond Goods and Services: Competition Policy, Investment, Mutual Recognition, Movement of Persons, and Broader Cooperation Provisions of Recent FTAs involving ASEAN Countries," NBER Working Papers 11232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ng, Francis & Yeats, Alexander, 2003. "Major trade trends in East Asia : what are their implications for regional cooperation and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3084, The World Bank.
  13. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
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