TPP versus RCEP: Control of Membership and Agenda Setting

Journal of East Asian Economic Integration Vol. 18, No. 2 (June 2014) 163-186

24 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2014 Last revised: 6 Nov 2016

Date Written: June 30, 2014

Abstract

This paper argues that the formation of regional integration frameworks can be best understood as a dominant state’s attempt to create a preferred regional framework in which it can exercise exclusive influence. In this context, it is important to observe not only which countries are included in a regional framework, but also which countries are excluded from it. For example, the distinct feature of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is its exclusion of China, and that of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is its exclusion of the United States (US). An exclusion of a particular country does not mean that the excluded country will perpetually remain outside the framework. In fact, TPP may someday include China, resulting from a policy of the US “engaging” or “socializing” China rather than “balancing” against it. However, the first step of such a policy is to establish a regional framework from which the target country of engagement is excluded.

Keywords: Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Membership, Exclusion, Agenda Setting

JEL Classification: F13, F15, F53

Suggested Citation

Hamanaka, Shintaro, TPP versus RCEP: Control of Membership and Agenda Setting (June 30, 2014). Journal of East Asian Economic Integration Vol. 18, No. 2 (June 2014) 163-186. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2460616

Shintaro Hamanaka (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

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