ASPI Trade Architecture Report

An Asia Society Policy Institute Report

The recent U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) shook the Asia-Pacific region, prompting governments and stakeholders across the region to question why the U.S. walked away from an agreement offering substantial economic and strategic benefits. Widespread skepticism about the benefits of trade agreements, as well as a broader backlash against trade and globalization, are adding to this uncertainty as global growth slows. Meanwhile, key economic, technological, and institutional developments are rapidly changing the very nature of trade and investment, creating new economic opportunities for businesses of all sizes while also presenting new challenges.

With the TPP’s future in doubt due to the withdrawal of the U.S., its largest member, and with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations still incomplete, Asia’s trade landscape is at a critical juncture. In light of these high stakes, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) established an Independent Commission on Trade Policy, chaired by ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler, to examine the regional trade landscape, and offer the best path forward in the Asia-Pacific region to liberalize trade, raise standards, and promote broad reforms.

In its report Charting a Course for Trade and Economic Integration in the Asia-Pacific, the Commission makes a number of pragmatic recommendations which aim to promote high standards and inclusiveness in trade agreements, drive forward regional economic integration, build support for trade agreements by better communicating their benefits, and work with multilateral fora to help assuage the concerns of those who fear being disenfranchised by trade and globalization.

ASPI is launching the report at an event in Washington D.C. on March 7, 2017.  

Executive Summary

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Full Report

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Commission Members

The Commission is composed of seven senior trade experts from across the Asia-Pacific, in line with ASPI’s mandate to prominently feature voices and perspectives from the region. Combining decades of experience leading trade negotiations and years of academic expertise, they are uniquely qualified to assess the current trends and prospects for greater trade, investment, and economic integration in the Asia-Pacific.

Wendy Cutler (Chair), Vice President, Asia Society Policy Institute
Choi Seokyoung, former Ambassador of Korea to the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Gregory Domingo, former Trade Secretary of the Philippines
Peter Grey, former Ambassador of Australia to Japan, the European Union, and the WTO
Shotaro Oshima, former Special Representative of Japan for the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Mari Elka Pangestu, former Minister of Trade of Indonesia
Wang Yong, Director of Peking University’s Center for International Political Economy

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