Trade Background: Asia-Pacific
Blue Dot Network: The Belt and Road Alternative
The Diplomat, April 7, 2020
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Cambodia joined, making up what is today the 10 member states of ASEAN.
The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN leaders on the 30th anniversary of ASEAN, agreed on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations and an agreement to become an economic union by 2020. The agreement sets deadlines for lowering travel restrictions and tariffs in the region of 500 million people. In 2015, U.S. exports to ASEAN totaled $74.9 billion. California exports totaled nearly $11 billion, nearly 15 percent of all US exports to ASEAN. California is currently the top exporting state to ASEAN.
- The AEM-USTR Consultations Joint Media Statement, ASEAN, September 9, 2017
- Fact Sheet: The Growing Prominence of U.S.-ASEAN Trade Relations, USTR, June 13, 2013
- United States and Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministers Meet to Advance Job-Promoting Trade Initiatives, USTR, June 13, 2013
The APEC forum was formed in 1989. It serves as a multilateral forum in which Asian and Pacific economies can solve economic problems and cooperate in developing key economic sectors.The APEC economies are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.
Mexico Says South Korea Seeking Associate Membership of Pacific Alliance Reuters, July 23, 2018
Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Monday that South Korea had initiated the process of seeking associate membership of the Pacific Alliance trade bloc.
Pacific Alliance Admits Four New Associate Members TZNV, June 29, 2017
The Pacific Alliance (Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Peru) has admitted News Zealand, Australia, Canada and Singapore as associate members. The associate membership status is seen as a first step towards expanding trade and investment with the group, a major supporter of free trade in the region. The alliance also announced it is looking at the possibility of creating a single passport for its four core member countries.
Reengaging the Asia-Pacific on Trade: A TPP Roadmap for the Next U.S. Administration
Asia Policy Institute, September 30, 2020
The most recent meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations took place in Singapore on May 18-20, 2014.
The ministers of the TPP countries focused in particular on making meaningful progress on market access and also advanced outstanding rules issues in an effort to narrow the remaining differences.
Joint Statement at the TPP Ministers Meeting in Singapore Singapore, May 18-20, 2014
See the CalChamber’s TPP Trade Issues Page for further information
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
After 8 years of negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed on November 15, 2020. The RCEP is a free trade agreement (FTA) with 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states—Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam—and the five states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs—Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
India originally was included as a sixth ASEAN FTA state; however, the country decided to pull out of the RCEP agreement in November 2019. Now that India has removed itself from the RCEP, the agreement still includes more than 2.1 billion people. RCEP negotiations were launched in November 2012 and concluded in 2018; however, the deadline for signing the RCEP agreement was then pushed back several times, first expecting it to be signed by February 2020, then finally being signed in November.
The RCEP would be expected to grow to more than $100 trillion by 2050, double the projected size of Trans Pacific Partnership-11 (TPP-11) economies. It would be the biggest free trade agreement in the world, but without the United States or any membership from the Americas.
Please see the CalChamber’s RCEP page for more info.
China-Anchored Free-Trade Zone, World’s Biggest, Nearly Done
Bloomberg, November 12, 2020
S. Korea to Push for Conclusion of Asia-Pacific Trade Deal this Year
The Korea Herald, July 8, 2020
- Tiny Island Country Opens North County Consulate San Diego Union Tribune, Oct. 2012
- Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar International Monetary Fund, January 2012
- Berkeley APEC Study Center
- Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center of Stanford
- A SITE SELECTION INVESTMENT PROFILE: MALAYSIA From Site Selection magazine, September 2011