The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Path to Free Trade in the Asia-Pacific

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Path to Free Trade in the Asia-Pacific

Edited by Peter C.Y. Chow

Mega-regionalism in the Asia Pacific has led to the formation of several emerging trade blocs, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This book, in addition to the examination of trade policies in the region, offers a comprehensive analysis of ongoing developments such as the impact of new members on the incumbent TPP-12 and its spillover to third parties, as well an objective study of the crucial issues of liberalization of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and intellectual property rights.

Chapter 1: Pathways to a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific: problems and prospects

Peter C.Y. Chow

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, international economics, regional economics, politics and public policy, asian politics


The forging of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in October 2015 was a major milestone, if seen as part of a continuum towards deepening regional economic integration; and possibly a watershed, if seen to have altered the path in the evolution of Asia Pacific regionalism. The future is always opaque, yet certain seeds have been planted. This book explores the TPP’s implications for the future architecture of the Asia Pacific economic region. The vision of economic regionalism in the Asia Pacific has rarely been concordant with the reality. General peace and the conditions for regional economic development in East Asia emerged only in the 1980s, following China’s historic opening up in the post-Mao era. Up to that point, economic relations in the Asia Pacific featured a hub-and-spoke pattern, with the regional hegemonic power, the United States (US), as the hub, and the East Asian economies as the spokes.