Vinod K. Aggarwal
International Relations in The Asia-Pacific: New Patterns of Power, Interest and Cooperation, 2000
The Asian crisis that began in 1997 has affected countries throughout the region. At the same time, it has thrown the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) into an institutional crisis of its own. Created in 1989, APEC currently groups 21 economies in the region with the professed aim of liberalizing trade and investment in the region. As a trade liberalization forum, APEC began to take on a significant role in 1993 when heads of states met in Seattle, giving the Uruguay Round of negotiations a strong boost. By indicating that the U.S. was willing to move
forward with trade liberalization in what was then the most dynamic region of the global economy, the U.S. was able to encourage the European Union to be more forthcoming and willing to conclude the long-delayed trade negotiations.