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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 December 2019
The Trump administration declared the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) strategy as the new U.S. policy on Asia in 2017. This new strategy will have far-reaching implications for U.S.-Asia relations and global governance. The FOIP is conventionally perceived to focus on security dimensions. By “free,” the United States expects all countries “to exercise their sovereignty free from coercion by other countries.”1 The qualifier, “open,” is meant to refer to regional connectivity, in particular including freedom of navigation.2 Notably, the economic dimensions of this component also envision “fair and reciprocal trade” and “transparent agreements.”
This panel was convened at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, March 20, 2019, by its moderators, Weixia Gu of the University of Hong Kong and Pasha Hsieh of the Singapore Management University, who introduced the panelists: Ronald Eberhard Tundang of the Indonesian Embassy to the United States; Matthew Erie of Oxford University; Julian Ku of Hofstra University School of Law; and Inu Manak of the Cato Institute.
1 U.S. Dep't of Defense, Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region, at 4 (2019).
4 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), at https://asean.org/?static_post=rcep-regional-comprehensive-economic-partnership; Yasu Ota & Shuichi Maruyama, Ocean's Eleven, Nikkei Asian Rev., at 16 (2018).
5 ASEAN Framework for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (2011); Pasha L. Hsieh, Against Populist Isolationism: New Asian Regionalism and Global South Powers in International Economic Law, 5 Cornell J. Int'l L. 683, 691–95 (2018).
6 Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (2012).
7 Tham Siew Yean, Commentary: Concluding the High-Stakes RCEP in 2019 Will Need a Different Approach, CNA (Mar. 16, 2019), at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/concluding-high-stakes-rcep-2019-will-need-different-approach-11336424.
8 Pasha L. Hsieh & Bryan Mercurio, ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: An Introductory Roadmap to the ASEAN Economic Community, in ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: Global Trends and Shifting Paradigms, 3, 3–19 (Pasha L. Hsieh & Bryan Mercurio eds., 2019).
9 Amiti Sen, China Proposes ASEAN+3 Mega Free Trade Agreement Sans India, Australia and NZ, Hindu Bus. Line (May 26, 2019), at https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/china-proposes-ASEAN3-mega-free-trade-agreement-sans-india-australia-and-nz/article27255349.ece.
10 Outline of the RCEP Agreement (as of Nov. 2018), in Joint Leaders’ Statement on the Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
11 Reduced Scope of Application of ISDS in RCEP; Negotiating Partners Still Aim at End-2018 , Inv. Treaty News (Oct. 17, 2018), at https://www.iisd.org/itn/2018/10/17/reduced-scope-of-application-of-isds-in-rcep-negotiating-partners-still-aim-at-end-2018.
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