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  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL TRADE LANDSCAPE HAS BEEN CHALLENGED AS NEVER BEFORE. A growing number of people around the world are questioning the value of trade agreements, holding them accountable for slow wage growth, rising inequalities, and job losses. Exemplified by Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, a wave of anti-globalization has washed over the world. Further, global trade is slowing, and existing trade agreements have not kept pace with the changing nature of trade itself, owing to the increasingly important role of digital and services trades. But trade has been one of the strongest drivers behind global growth and stability, particularly in Asia. In the past quarter century, the number of trade agreements in the region has increased dramati- cally. At the same time, Asian countries experienced average annual growth rates nearly 3 percent higher after liberalizing their markets.1 The region’s openness has been a critical ingredient in spurring growth, creating jobs, and lifting millions out of poverty. Trade has also helped nations develop stronger ties, giving them a greater stake in one another’s economic success and reducing the likelihood of conflict. What the French philosopher Montesquieu wrote during the eighteenth century remains as relevant in the twenty-first: “Peace is a natural effect of trade.” 2
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsey. W Ford
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: ON JANUARY 20, 2017, AMERICA’S FIRST “PACIFIC PRESIDENT” WILL DEPART OFFICE. Many Asian observers fear that America’s regional commitments will depart along with him. The election of Donald Trump raises more questions than answers for Asian leaders eager to under- stand the nature of U.S. engagement in the region in the future. There has been a remarkable history of consistency and bipartisanship in the U.S. approach to Asia over many decades. But this election has upended many assumptions about U.S. policy in ways that leave foreign policy experts, both in the United States and abroad, unsure of what to expect next. President-elect Trump has made clear that few things will be “business as usual” for the future. Several of his proposals, including withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and annulling U.S. ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement would reverberate across the region and mark a significant about-face in U.S. policy. Other proposals, less directly related to Asia, such as suspending immigration from certain Muslim nations, would also have implications for Asian countries with significant Muslim majorities or minorities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus