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  • Author: Deborah Elms, C. L. Lim
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement currently under negotiation between nine countries in three continents, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. In late 2011 three additional countries--Japan, Canada and Mexico--announced their intention to join as well. The TPP has always been called a "high quality, 21st century" agreement that covers a range of topics not always found in free trade agreements. This includes not just trade in goods, services and investment, but also intellectual property rights, government procurement, labor, environment, regulations, and small and medium enterprises. This paper traces the complex negotiations and evolution of the talks since the early 2000s to the present.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Labor Issues, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Israel, Vietnam, Latin America, Australia, Australia/Pacific, Mexico, Singapore, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Brunei
  • Author: Christopher Freise
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Much attention has been devoted to the Obama Administration's “Pacific Pivot” and the vocal reassertion of an upgraded security, economic, and diplomatic presence in East Asia by the United States. Commentators have ascribed various rationales to these efforts, including speculation that this is part of a “containment” strategy towards China, a reaction to the US presidential election cycle, or, more benignly, an effort to forestall concerns of American withdrawal from the region. These explanations have some elements of truth, but also fall short of fully describing or understanding the strategic rationale behind these moves.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper traces the 'securitisation' of US foreign economic policy since the advent of the Bush administration. It does so with reference to US economic policy in East Asia. It argues that in the context of US economic and military preponderance in the world order, the US has been able to resist the temptation to link foreign economic and security policy. While there was evidence of the securitisation of economic globalisation in US policy from day one of the Bush administration, it was 9/11 that firmed up this trend. For the key members of the Bush foreign policy team, globalisation is now seen not simply in neo-liberal economic terms, but also through the lenses of the national security agenda of the United States. Economic globalisation is now not only a benefit, but also a 'security problem'. 9/11 offered the opportunity for what we might call the 'unilateralist-idealists', in the Bush administration, to set in train their project for a post-sovereign approach to American foreign policy. The paper identifies some intellectual contradictions in current US strategy and raises a series of question about the implication for world order of the consolidation of the trends identified in the paper.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, East Asia
  • Author: Eduardo Lachica
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia and the donor community are agreed that security sector reforms are needed to restore investor confidence and sustain the pace of economic recovery. However, donor-assisted programmes have had only a limited success so far and the army's post-Suharto reforms appeared to have ground to a halt. This paper offers some suggestions on how to restore the momentum for reform in the light of donor limitations, the military's historical circumstances and the current mood of intense nationalism. Donors should initiate a quiet Track II (non-official) dialogue with the military, the police, the civilian authorities and civil society to scope out a doable programme of cooperation. The issue of civilian supremacy should be dealt with pragmatically, allowing for a process of negotiation to find an effective working relationship between civilian and military authorities. The dialogue should frame the reform process as a burden for the entire society, reminding civilian leaders that they too have a responsibility to improve their performance and demonstrate their ability to oversee military affairs capably and fairly. Since U.S. assistance to the Indonesian military is likely to remain constrained, the paper proposes a "military donors club" that can expand the donor base and work informally with the World Bank-led Consultative Group on Indonesia. The dialogue should deal creatively and patiently with two of the most vexing issues relating to the army — restructuring its network of territorial commands and phasing out its controversial tradition of self-financing. This could be a difficult learning process for both sides of the civilian-military divide that could last a decade or more.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Southeast Asia