2022 Asia-Pacific Economic Integration Seminar in US 

June 2022

On June 23, JETRO and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) jointly hosted a conference under the title “The Future of Economic Order in the Asia-Pacific Region” in Washington, DC, in a face-to-face format for the first time in three years.

Following welcoming remarks presented by Matthew P. Goodman, CSIS Senior Vice President for Economics, and opening remarks by Marisa Lago, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, JETRO Chairman and CEO SASAKI Nobuhiko pointed out in his keynote speech that the most significant change in Asia since the administration of former US President Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the friction between the US and China solidified is the strengthening of economic relations between China and ASEAN.

At the same time, by introducing a survey conducted by the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, a Singaporean thinktank, which found that approximately 70% of ASEAN experts welcome the influence of the US, he also suggested that the US should contribute to the formation of regional rules, along with Japan, which enjoys a high level of trust from ASEAN. In particular, he expressed concern about the spread of regulations restricting the free flow of data in Asia and said that issues related to digital trade should be addressed in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) launched in May 2022 by the administration of US President Biden. He also called for the eventual return of the US to the CPTPP (see note), saying it would be the nucleus leading to WTO reform as well.

Chairman Sasaki of JETRO

Keynote speech (virtual)

Panel discussion

A panel discussion was moderated by Christopher B. Johnstone, CSIS Senior Adviser and Japan Chair and four panelists—Mie Oba, Professor in the Faculty of Law of Kanagawa University (participating online); Xinquan Tu, Dean and Professor at the China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing (participating online); Simon Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA); and Mr. Goodman—discussed the prospects for the Asia-Pacific economic order from regional and national perspectives. The panelists expressed various views on issues such as the challenges to making the IPEF an effective and sustainable framework, the future prospects of the CPTPP in the absence of the US and the role of India's growing presence in the region.

Note: After the US withdrawal from the TPP, a new trade agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), entered into force in December 2018, without the US.

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