GIS Dossier: Global trade and protectionism
According to the economic law of comparative advantage, the whole world has benefited from the enormous expansion of international trade since 1980. But over the past decade, few countries have acted like they believe it. GIS experts look at the roots and likely future course of protectionism’s global resurgence.
Global Outlook 2017: China’s rocky year
The election of Donald Trump in the United States brings with it a great deal of uncertainty for China and its leaders. It could face the threat of a trade war, and diplomatic challenges regarding Taiwan and the South China Sea. However, as Washington takes a more isolationist stance, 2017 will also offer China the opportunity to fill the vacuum.
A new look at the pivot to Asia
U.S. allies in Southeast Asia have been turning toward China for various reasons. President Donald Trump has declared he will take a tough line toward Beijing, while his determination to retreat from the TPP agreement and reduce foreign involvement has aroused worry in the region. The Trump administration will have a difficult time keeping allies in line, but a focus on bilateral trade agreements offers flexibility and new opportunities.
Global Outlook 2017: Southeast Asia and the U.S.-China dynamic
Southeast Asian nations will continue their long-term strategy of making the most out of their relationships with the United States and China in 2017. Though some leaders, especially in the Philippines and Malaysia, have made high-profile overtures to Beijing, and Vietnam has much to lose from TPP’s demise, none of these countries will abandon partnership with Washington.
Global trends: TPP holds key for developments in Asia-Pacific
East Asia’s geopolitical future over the next 18 to 24 months will hinge on whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact is implemented as planned. Last year 12 countries – including Japan and the United States, but excluding South Korea and China – concluded talks on the text of the agreement. However, the deal still faces several hurdles, not least of w...
Southeast Asia’s tangled web of economic ties may help limit China’s sway
Now that China is Southeast Asia’s top trading partner, many argue that a new alignment of power is emerging. Certainly, increased trade has helped transform perceptions of Chinese influence in the region from negative to relatively positive. But there is little risk of a China-centred trade bloc materialising. The biggest reason for this is the diversity of econom...
Abe’s canny power plays will shake up Japanese electricity market
Change is coming to Japan’s electricity market along two seemingly contradictory tracks. On one hand, the recent restart of two nuclear reactors signals the government’s commitment to well-connected, entrenched interests. On the other, a push to liberalise the sector will break those interests’ long-held grip on the country’s generation and distribution businesses....
Asean split by spectre of Chinese guns and money
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) operates under the motto ‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community.’ Recently, however, the bloc has not been so unified. A schism between its 10 member states is growing over China, their giant neighbour to the north. It is a divide that threatens to derail the bloc’s economic development and integration into a lar...
An American perspective on intersecting interests in the Asia-Pacific
The Asia Pacific region can be geopolitically conceived as three intersecting circles of national interests. Circle one comprises the United States and its treaty allies – Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. Circle two contains the countries in the region most closely aligned with the People’s Republic of China – North ...
TPP trade deal mired in disagreements
The significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between 12 countries on either side of the Pacific Ocean was raised after the US and Japan joined discussions. But it has become bogged down with American fears that it will benefit big business only and damage US employment prospects, while Congress wants to dictate the rules. ...