Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements
There is no doubt that the open multilateral trading system after World War II was a key ingredient in the rapid economic development of the entire world. Especially in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, exports increased dramatically both in absolute terms and as a percentage of GNP. In the 1980s, however, preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) began to emerge as significant factors affecting world trade. This volume contains thirteen papers that analyze the tensions between multilateral trading systems and preferential trade arrangements and the impact of these tensions on East Asia. The first four chapters introduce PTAs conceptually and focus on the unique political issues that these agreements involve. The next five essays present more direct empirical analyses of existing PTAs and their economic effects, primarily in East Asia. The last four papers concentrate on the outcomes of individual East Asian nations’ trading policies in specific instances of preferential agreements.