Designing Trade Institutions for Asia

Vinod K. Aggarwal and Min Gyo Koo

Cornell University Press, 2016

Drawing on the project framework, the first section begins by specifying, then supplementing, the institutional dimensions on which key institutions that influence Asian trade can be analyzed. It then briefly traces their evolution from their origins to the current state of play on five dimensions: organizational structure, the degree of legality, and of particular relevance to the trade case, membership scope, issue scope, and the types of goods. The second section summarizes the analytical approach underlying the project, together with our focus on the three additional dimensions as process variables to account for the varied policy preferences of states with respect to institutional choices. Drawing on this theory, the third section empirically examines the policy preferences of South Korea, Japan, and China with respect to trade institutional choices, focusing specifically on ASEAN+3 and 6 (in particular, RCEP) as well as the TPP at the minilateral level, and FTAs at the bilateral level. The fourth section concludes with some implications for the project framework and speculates about the likely trajectory of institutions in the Asian region.

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