From a US government perspective, the Trans Pacific Partnership is the only game in town. Three main reasons explain why: the state of the WTO’s Doha Round; China’s role in Asia; and America’s self-image of its place in the Pacific. A possible fourth reason is that Washington regards the TPP is the only doable multilateral trade initiative…
For a United States that almost singlehandedly launched both the global GATT and then the WTO, a ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ is quite a comedown. All the more so when, if the WTO’s Doha Round were completed, its ‘most favoured nation’ clause would render moot most of the preferential trade agreements now cluttering world trade, and simultaneously kick-start global trade growth. And yet only the unlikely goal of a TPP, so 20th century, will be pressed by the US because that’s all the President is prepared to undertake at this point.
Read the whole thing. (HT: Larry.)
Jonathan, I’ve written a fairly comprehensive entry on various economic integration efforts in the Asia-Pacific. Given current US antipathy towards any sort of trade agreement, TPP is the least realistic alongside those envisioned by China and Japan.