ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-US Economic Relationship

East-West Center Policy Studies, Forthcoming

53 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2013 Last revised: 18 Nov 2013

Peter A. Petri

Brandeis University - Brandeis International Business School; Brandeis University - Department of Economics; East-West Center

Michael G. Plummer

Johns Hopkins University

Date Written: November 15, 2013

Abstract

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is strategically significant because of its size, dynamism, and role in the Asian economic and security architectures. This paper examines how ASEAN seeks to strengthen these assets through “centrality” in intraregional and external policy decisions. It recommends a two-speed approach toward centrality in order to maximize regional incomes and benefit all member economies: first, selective engagement by ASEAN members in productive external partnerships and, second, vigorous policies to share gains across the region. This strategy has solid underpinnings in the Kemp-Wan theorem on trade agreements. It would warrant, for example, a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with incomplete ASEAN membership, complemented with policies to extend gains across the region. The United States could support this framework by pursuing deep relations with some ASEAN members, while broadly assisting the region’s development.

Keywords: ASEAN, Asian economic integration, Trans-Pacific Partnership, US trade policy, free trade areas, regional economic integration

JEL Classification: F12, F13, F14, F15, F17

Suggested Citation

Petri, Peter A. and Plummer, Michael G., ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-US Economic Relationship (November 15, 2013). East-West Center Policy Studies, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2319426 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2319426

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/

Brandeis University - Department of Economics

Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppetri.com/

East-West Center

1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96848
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppetri.com/

Michael G. Plummer

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Via Belmeloro 11
40126 Bologna
Italy

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