Multitrack Integration in East Asian Trade: Noodle Bowl or Matrix?

Asia Pacific Issues, Analysis from the East-West Center, No. 86, October 2008

12 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008 Last revised: 8 Feb 2010

See all articles by Peter A. Petri

Peter A. Petri

Brandeis University - Brandeis International Business School; Brookings Institution; Brandeis University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 1, 2008

Abstract

East Asian trade agreements are often described as a complicated "noodle bowl," which shows links in the region as a snarled, overlapping, intertwined mass. But this is a misleading representation-Asia's regional agreements may in fact be creating an order of a different sort, building the foundations for a stronger regional trading system. Asian trade arrangements can be more constructively seen in terms of a trade agreements matrix, in which multiple negotiations produce an orderly progression of agreements to liberalize all potential bilateral relationships and move the region toward a coherent system of freer trade. The various approaches to deeper economic integration-regional arrangements, trans-Pacific agreements, and global engagement-are complementary paths that should eventually lead to an open global trading system. East Asia is of growing importance in the global marketplace, and adopting an aggressive multitrack strategy-as the region appears to be doing -- may be the fastest route toward a new global framework.

Keywords: East Asia, FTA, regionalism, Asia Pacific

JEL Classification: F13, F15, F53, F55

Suggested Citation

Petri, Peter A., Multitrack Integration in East Asian Trade: Noodle Bowl or Matrix? (October 1, 2008). Asia Pacific Issues, Analysis from the East-West Center, No. 86, October 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1302443

Peter A. Petri (Contact Author)

Brandeis University - Brandeis International Business School ( email )

Mailstop 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppetri.com/

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Brandeis University - Department of Economics

Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppetri.com/

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