The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Path to Free Trade in the Asia-Pacific
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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.
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Chapter 2: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and America’s strategic role in Asia

Claude Barfield


The author delves deeply into the evolution of United States (US) policy toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the interplay of domestic US politics with vital US strategic interests. Trade policy stands at the intersection of a nation’s diplomatic and security strategies and its broad economic goals. Decisions regarding trade agreements, with both individual nations and groups thereof, are calculated to advance national strategic interests, as well as the fortunes of domestic corporations and workers. Political scientists also refer to trade policy-making as a two-level game: national leaders strive to forge an internal consensus on US trade negotiating goals and then must further attempt to achieve those goals at the international level. Utilizing these organizing themes, the author describes and analyzes the United States’ evolving role in Asia over the past three decades, where the juxtaposition of economic and security goals has propelled its actions and priorities. He concludes that the TPP is indispensable to the United States’ ability to maintain a central leadership role in Asia in the twenty-first century.

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