Free-Trade Agreement Of The Asia-Pacific (Ftaap)
The Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP) is a proposal for a free trade agreement between the 21 APEC economies. The U.S. government publicly supports the FTAAP after having spoken out against it. www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/fta-ale.aspx?lang=eng “APEC has always been prescient. APEC leaders have already alluded in 2004 (in Chile) to a vision of a free trade area in Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). This was a response to the APEC proposals, the APEC Business Advisory Council, which provided for the benefits of such an important free trade agreement. In 2010 (Japan), APEC leaders realized the vision by sketching out “paths to FTAAP.” Already at that time, they imagined that the PAF should be a comprehensive and quality agreement, developed and based on ongoing regional enterprises, which addresses the trade and investment issues of the next generation. […] We must ensure that our current agreements are of the highest quality. Regional architectures such as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Pacific Alliance, the RCEP and the TPP are reciprocal reinforcement routes to FTAAP. These paths must be of high quality to achieve a credible and sensible free trade agreement. More recently, economist C. Fred Bergsten was on the front line as a proponent of a free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.
The document he wrote as part of this study provides the most comprehensive and penetrating statement in support of a FTAAP. One of the most direct and comprehensive rebuttals of this perspective comes from a political scientist, Vinod Aggarwal. Based on an analysis of the U.S. political economy, Dr. Aggarwal argues that selective liberalization has rewarded freer trade interests through sectoral and bilateral trade agreements, but that trade policy has dominated by protectionist interests. We believe that a free trade agreement should be seen as a comprehensive free trade agreement by developing and building ongoing regional commitments such as ASEAN-3, ASEAN-6 and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. To this end, APEC, as an incubator of an FTAAP, will make an important and significant contribution by providing leadership and intellectual contribution to the development process and playing a decisive role in defining, developing and addressing the “next generation” trade and investment issues that an ATAP should contain. “www.dti.gov.ph/dti/index.php/resources/trade-agreements APEC continues its work on free trade agreements and regional trade agreements (EPAs) in the region to promote regional economic integration.
The proposal for a regional free trade agreement is the oldest idea to promote mutually beneficial regional cooperation between Asia and the Pacific Ocean.