Economic and Strategic Dimensions of MEGA-FTAS: A Perception Survey of Asian Opinion Leaders
JI, XIANBAI; RANA, PRADUMNA B.; CHIA, WAI-MUN; LI, CHANGTAI | December 2016
The advent of mega-free trade agreements (mega-FTAs) including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a defining feature of global trade governance in the 21st century. What are the costs and benefits of mega- FTAs? What is the political and strategic calculus behind mega-FTAs? Is there a “domino effect” triggering off the mega-FTA troika in a chain of reactions? Does mega-regionalism reinforce or undermine multilateralism? Since commonly used econometrics models cannot shed light on non-economic issues, this paper examines mega-regionalism by conducting a perception survey. This survey received responses from 648 opinion leaders located in 31 Asian countries. Respondents felt that mega-FTAs are good trade policy instruments that are “building blocks” to multilateralism. Linked by a “domino effect”, the mega-FTAs have important political and strategic dimensions. The United States wants to socialise China by writing high- standard “rules of the road” through the TPP. China then pivoted to RCEP to counter the TPP. Brussels through TTIP wanted to join the mega-FTA bandwagon to stay relevant. Additionally, remaining questions on decentralising global economic architecture highlight the need for regional and global institutions to complement each other.
CitationJI, XIANBAI; RANA, PRADUMNA B.; CHIA, WAI-MUN; LI, CHANGTAI. 2016. Economic and Strategic Dimensions of MEGA-FTAS: A Perception Survey of Asian Opinion Leaders. © S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/6753. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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