The Proliferation of FTAs and Prospects for Trade Liberalization in East Asia
This chapter analyzes the causes and possible consequences of proliferation of bilateral FTAs, focusing on the case of East Asia. It attempts to find clues as to whether the bilateral FTAs in East Asia that are completed or under discussion could be building or stumbling blocks for regional as well as global trade integration. Section 4.2 discusses some of the factors behind the increase in bilateral FTAs. Section 4.3 is devoted to an analysis of economic effects of the proliferation of FTAs. Section 4.4 examines the quality of East Asia's FTAs in terms of the coverage of tariff elimination and rules of origin. Section 4.5 discusses consequences of the proliferation of FTAs in East Asia. It is argued that for a number of institutional constraints, the proliferation is not likely to lead to the creation of a single East Asian FTA.
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