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Policy Commission To Advise On Asia-Pacific Trade Treaty

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

22 March 2016

On March 20, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) launched a policy commission that will examine the current trade architecture in the Asia-Pacific and provide recommendations on the most effective, practical, and inclusive pathways towards the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).

The commission is chaired by Wendy Cutler, Vice President of ASPI and former Acting Deputy US Trade Representative, and comprised of five former senior trade officials from across the region.

"It's an exciting time in the region as various trade and investment liberalization initiatives and negotiations have the potential to significantly alter the economic landscape of the Asia-Pacific," said Cutler. "I look forward to working with the other Commission members to sort through these initiatives and provide a roadmap on how future economic integration in the region can most effectively take shape."

Commission members have begun a review of the current agreements and initiatives underway in the region, and discussed how these efforts could be better coordinated and streamlined to promote meaningful integration. They aim to complete their work in the lead-up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders meeting in Lima this November.

Concerns have been expressed that the various bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) and regional trade agreements (RTAs) in the Asia-Pacific overburden companies, as they are currently faced with differing tariffs and rules of origin. The FTAAP is proposed to be a comprehensive, high-quality agreement that would encompass those FTAs and RTAs – including the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the proposed China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

TAGS: Asia Pacific | tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | China | agreements | United States | import duty | trade | Asia-Pacific

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