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Title: Economic and strategic dimensions of mega-FTAs: A perception survey of Asian opinion leaders
Authors: Ji, Xianbai
Rana, Pradumna Bickram
Chia, Wai-Mun
Li, Changtai
Keywords: Country and Region Studies
East Asia and Asia Pacific
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Ji, X., Rana, P. B., Chia, W.-M., & Li, C. (2016). Economic and strategic dimensions of mega-FTAs: A perception survey of Asian opinion leaders. (RSIS Working Paper, No. 299). Singapore: Nanyang Technological University.
Series/Report no.: RSIS Working Papers, 299-16
Abstract: The advent of mega-free trade agreements (mega-FTAs) including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a defining feature of global trade governance in the 21st century. What are the costs and benefits of mega-FTAs? What is the political and strategic calculus behind mega-FTAs? Is there a “domino effect” triggering off the mega-FTA troika in a chain of reactions? Does mega-regionalism reinforce or undermine multilateralism? Since commonly used econometrics models cannot shed light on non-economic issues, this paper examines mega-regionalism by conducting a perception survey. This survey received responses from 648 opinion leaders located in 31 Asian countries. Respondents felt that mega-FTAs are good trade policy instruments that are “building blocks” to multilateralism. Linked by a “domino effect”, the mega-FTAs have important political and strategic dimensions. The United States wants to socialise China by writing high-standard “rules of the road” through the TPP. China then pivoted to RCEP to counter the TPP. Brussels through TTIP wanted to join the mega-FTA bandwagon to stay relevant. Additionally, remaining questions on decentralising global economic architecture highlight the need for regional and global institutions to complement each other.
Schools: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies 
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Working Papers

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