Technical Report Accession clause of TPP : Is it really open?

Hamanaka, Shintaro

6062016-06-01 , Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO) 
One of the most important policy questions relating to the future impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the global and regional economy is whether other countries in the region, particularly China, will join the partnership. While several commentators have made some observations regarding the future prospects of TPP expansion, little scholarly analysis has been conducted. To go beyond the speculation of a certain country's accession to TPP, we first attempt to generalize the issue before moving on to a specific question. We conduct a comparative analysis of a large number of regional trade agreements for a better understanding of the parameters of RTAs that are critical for membership expansion. This general framework enables us to conduct a systematic examination of specific membership expansion cases, such as China's membership in TPP. The paper also proposes a necessary "accession practice" that truly facilitates new members' participation.

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