Reassessing APEC’s Role as a Trans-Regional Economic Architecture: Legal and Policy Dimensions
Journal of International Economic Law, vol.16: No.1, pp119-158, (24 Jan 2013)
41 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2012 Last revised: 7 Jan 2014
Date Written: Jan 24, 2013
This article examines the two-decade evolution of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the future prospects for Asian regionalism. It argues that while APEC retains advantages over competing regional structures, it should undergo reforms to accelerate the Bogor Goals and ensure its complementarity with the World Trade Organization (WTO). The article first analyzes the impact of stake-holding countries’ trade policies on APEC’s structure and development. By assessing APEC’s soft-law mechanism, it explores APEC’s WTO-plus contributions that reinvigorated the International Technology Agreement negotiations and improved supply chain facilitation. APEC’s goal of creating a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) can overcome structural limitations and serve as an effective “Plan B” for the Doha Round impasse. Nonetheless, caution should be given to legal challenges to the pathways to an FTAAP such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Finally, the article calls for reforms that will enhance APEC’s institution-building and monitoring system. Such reforms will strengthen APEC’s role under the multilateral trading system and reenergize the public-private partnership for trans-Pacific integration.
Keywords: APEC, FTAAP, TPP, RCEP, FTA, China, United States, Doha, regionalism
JEL Classification: F02, F10, F20, F30, F40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation