Special Paper Contributed by Dr. Mikio Kuwayama to Private Roundtable Meeting in the JALAC and Inter-American Dialogue Joint Seminar held in Washington D.C. during December 11-12, 2018
JALAC celebrates with the Inter-American Dialogue its fourth international seminar “Japan and LAC:Forging Quality Ties in Uncertain Times”, December 11-12, 2018, in Washington D.C. This paper was prepared for Private Roundtable Meeting. This is a preliminary version and has not been submitted to formal editing. Please do not cite or distribute without permission of the author. The following is the abstract of the paper, by Mikio Kuwayama, “TPP11 (CPTPP): Its Implications for Japan-Latin merica Trade Relations at a Time of Heightened Risks”. The author is Managing Director of JALAC and Research Fellow of Kobe University Research Institute for Economics and Business (KIEB).
Although the US withdrawal was a major setback for TPP12, TPP11 remains an economically and politically significant agreement. The entry into force of TPP11 provisions will set a precedent in the evolution and strengthening of international trade disciplines and rules. The entry into force of both TPP11 and the Japan-EU EPA sends the world a strong message that Japan and the EU will continue to play a leading model of preserving free trade and multilateral trading system. In a sense, TPP11 is likely to fill, to some extent, a geopolitical vacuum created by the retreat of US global leadership, which is unlikely, at least for now, to be filled by China’s “socialist-type” trade liberalism. The political significance of TPP11 for Latin America is that even without the United States, countries on both sides of the Pacific Rim can work together to safeguard the multilateral trading system in which Latin American countries have a large stake. At the same time, TPP11 will open to Latin America new venues and ways to construct strategic relations with the Asia-Pacific countries, and Japan in particular, and rewrite integration strategies within the proper region. The ongoing process of convergence in trade rules between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur and an EPA between Japan and Mercosur will be another important signal for the preservation of open trade regimes. A more unified and enlarged regional market resulting from joint efforts between the Alliance and ercosur, on the one hand, and a more connected regional market with the EU, EFTA and Asia-Pacific countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore), on the other, will enhance the attractiveness of LAC as a region. Meantime, crisscrossing FTA networks emerging across Asia-Pacific and Latin American countries should be avoided.
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