Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 24: APEC and Trade
Page 211 24 APEC and Trade BEYOND TRADE I have argued (see Part I) that two sets of forces, governed by pushandpull factors, the former from Europe and the latter from Asia, have contributed to progressive institutionalization of APEC. Economic regionalization in Western Europe acted as the push factor. The European Union continues to experiment with its model of deep economic integration with much success and presents a challenge to the rest of the world. In Part II, I have presented my conversations with several members of APEC’s EPG and independent scholars in various APEC membercountries, with each of whom I pressed the argument. In general, a consensus exists that the live experiment in Western Europe has certainly been a model to learn from, an educational process. It has had some impact on the happenings in the AsiaPacific. Some eminent persons have argued that the APEC Summit in 1993 had its impact on the EU, persuading the Europeans to accept the Uruguay Round of the GATT Agreement after six years of strenuous negotiations. Still others have forcefully argued that the EU, rooted to the concept of fortress Europe, could hardly have an impact on APEC and its commitment to free trade in the area. The EU does not present a fortress regional model, I continue to argue. Some other eminent persons point out that the historical fact of the security and defense umbrella provided by the United States in the AsiaPacific region has been more...
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