For nearly two decades, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has struggled to update the rules for international trade and investment. As WTO negotiations have stalled, the agenda of deeper economic integration is being addressed through mega trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Japan-EU FTA. With many leading economies negotiating agreements that will impact a significant percentage of global trade, the stakes are high. Will the mega trade agreements succeed in the areas that have eluded the WTO? Will these agreements generate trade standards that can be accepted globally? Or will they produce fragmentation with the emergence of a Pacific standard and an Atlantic standard?
On December 16, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies hosted a public seminar examining the priorities in the rules area of trade negotiations for Japan, Europe, and the United States, with the aim of identifying shared agendas and strategies to bridge differences at the negotiation table. The speakers, experts and practitioners from the United States and Japan specifically addressed the TPP, TTIP, and the Japan-EU FTA and examine the broader strategic interests of drafting and disseminating high quality standards of economic integration and rule of law, and whether that can encourage further market reform and regulatory transparency in emerging economies such as China and India.
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