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Japan's Preferential Trade Agreements: Implications for Domestic Liberalization and Regional Integration in East Asia
Mireya Solis, American University
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FO-50116-10
Global Economic Crisis: Boon or Bust for East Asian Trade Integration? (Article)
Title: Global Economic Crisis: Boon or Bust for East Asian Trade Integration?
Author: Mireya Solis
Abstract: Political economists have long noted that the prospects for trade liberalization diminish in a climate of economic recession. A stagnant economy intensifies the burden of adjustment for non-competitive sectors and polarizes domestic trade politics. Not surprisingly, the global financial crisis has raised concerns of a substantial protectionist backlash, through the imposition of national measures that circumvent WTO disciplines such as anti-dumping or tied stimulus packages. The impact of economic crisis on regional integration is, however, more ambiguous and has not been explored systematically. On the one hand, policymakers may be pressed to renege on trade liberalization commitments on all fronts -weakening as well the momentum to negotiate or implement regional trade agreements (FTAs). On the other hand, policymakers may be tempted to “insulate” their region from adverse global trends and may see FTAs as more amenable to political manipulation that shelters inefficient sectors. In order to shed light on the connection between external crisis and regionalist drive, I assess three main challenges East Asian elites confront in devising a regional trade bloc capable of acting as a growth locomotive: institutional fit, multilateralization, and architectural design. The track record of East Asian governments of negotiating FTAs to score diplomatic points abroad and ensure political survival at home–at the expense of maximizing economic gains through far-reaching liberalization- does not bode well for the magnitude of this challenge.
Primary URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09512748.2011.577232?prevSearch=solis&searchHistoryKey=
Periodical Title: The Pacific Review
Globalism ascendant, regionalism stagnant: Japan’s response to the global financial crisis (Article)
Title: Globalism ascendant, regionalism stagnant: Japan’s response to the global financial crisis
Author: Mireya Solis
Abstract: Japan’s response to the global financial crisis has emphasized global initiatives and downplayed the regional agenda, in sharp contrast to its approach to the Asian Financial Crisis. This rebalancing in Japan’s economic diplomacy reflects the greater political space it enjoys at the global level since its long held views on the benefits of flexible IMF lending practices and controls on volatile capital flows have now become mainstream; while at the regional level Japan faces stiff competition with China in shaping the regional integration agenda and unchartered territory in co-leading a multilateralized Chiang Mai Initiative. Despite its enhanced profile, Japan’s new globalism is uneven: it has made a very significant financial contribution to expand the resources of the IMF and to restore trade financing; but Japan has not played a major role in the debate surrounding the most pressing issues of a future financial architecture such as tackling global imbalances and promoting foreign exchange rate cooperation. Japan’s muted voice, despite its large financial commitments, is due to its difficult adaptation to the G20 summitry process as well as political volatility at home which prevents developing measures to deal with global downturn.
Primary URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mnp/hjd/2011/00000006/F0020001/art00003
Periodical Title: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy