East Asia Decouples from the United States: Trade War, COVID-19, and East Asia’s New Trade Blocs



Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer | Peterson Institute for International Economics

Less than a decade ago, Asia-Pacific megaregionalism through the TPP and RCEP agreements appeared to be reshaping trade governance and energizing
a push toward an open and inclusive “Yokohama Vision” of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. Since then, the directions of Asian economic integration have dramatically changed, refocusing on narrower, East Asian interdependence. These trends are accelerating in the wake of COVID-19. RCEP without India and the CPTPP without the United States militate against the more ambitious focus on state-of-the-art rules for 21st century commerce. Similar political impulses led India and the United States to back away from this vision, combining populist rhetoric, promotion of sectoral interests, and fear of Chinese competition.East Asia Decouples from the United States- Trade War, COVID-19

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