Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Asean  News  >>   Trade  >>   Obscure pact may propel Asia-Pacific trade
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  12  November 2010

Obscure pact may propel Asia-Pacific trade

Related Stories

November 6, 2010
Asean concern over proposal

August 27,2010
India-Asean may set deadline for services

March 15, 2010
Japan to increase investment in Asean

March 15, 2010
Thirty percent of Indonesian exports to China use FTA facility

March 14, 2010
Let Obama be a PR man for Indonesia, said local university rector

March 12, 2010
Malaysia considers joining regional trade pact with US

A little-known trade pact promoted by U.S. President Barack Obama has emerged as a key vehicle toward creating a free-trade treaty embracing more than half the world's economy.

With World Trade Organization negotiations in limbo, and warnings rife of a return to protectionism, talks to expand the pact, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, seem to be the only hope of regaining momentum, analysts say.

The TPP is seen as a vital building block for a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific - which would link economies from China to Chile and the United States but currently remains an undefined and long-term goal.

Japan, which is hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Yokohama at the conclusion of the G-20, has announced it is exploring the idea of joining the TPP, giving fresh impetus to the process.

"It is a good thing that Japan, which is a huge economic power, will be open to the world," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said.

The TPP, he said, was "a very good forum as it holds a high standard on free trade and nearly half of the APEC members have joined the negotiation."

The idea of an FTAAP had been mooted by business leaders and was championed by Washington in 2006 at an APEC meeting in Hanoi.

But the idea received a cool reception from many of APEC's 21 members, some of whom felt it would be dominated by the United States, while others wanted to focus on concluding the WTO Doha round of negotiations.

Diplomats said Washington saw another opportunity to push ahead with a trans-Pacific pact through an expansion of the TPP as it seeks to export its way out of its deep economic troubles and high unemployment at home.

The United States also wants to avoid being marginalized in an increasing web of Asia-centric bilateral and regional free trade agreements that have evolved after the WTO talks collapsed in July 2008.

These include an FTA between China and Asean, as well as plans for an East Asia-wide trade zone linking Asean, China, Japan and South Korea.

Obama elevated the TPP's profile by saying the United States would enter talks to join the group that now has just four signed-up members - Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore - but which Australia, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam are also in talks to join.

Other economies are watching closely and could also jump onto the bandwagon, but many are torn between not wanting to be left out, and reluctance to make the deep commitments TPP membership could require.

Back in Seoul, major nations struggled on Thursday to break a deadlock on how to fix problems cramping the world economy as Obama insisted that a strong United States was crucial for a wider international recovery.

A major issue confronting the G-20 is how to craft a new economic order to replace one centered on the United States running huge trade deficits while countries like China, Germany and Japan accumulate vast surpluses.

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
  Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below




1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2021 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand