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APEC and Trade Liberalization After Seattle



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A revised version appears as APEC and Trade Liberalization after Seattle Transregionalism without a Cause In Maria Weber ed Reforming Economic Systems in Asia A Comparative Analysis of China Japan South Korea Malaysia and Thailand Cheltenham Elgar 2001 APEC AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION AFTER SEATTLE TRANSREGIONALISM WITHOUT A CAUSE Vinod K Aggarwal Director and Professor Berkeley APEC Study Center 802 Barrows Hall 1970 University of California Berkeley CA 94720 1970 Email vinod socrates berkeley edu January 2001 This chapter was prepared for an ISPI Milan Italy project on L Asia dopo la Crisi led by Maria Weber I would particularly like to thank Justin Kolbeck for his extensive research assistance Lily Bradley Min Gyo Koo and Seungjoo Lee also provided research assistance and comments on this chapter APEC AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION AFTER SEATTLE TRANSREGIONALISM WITHOUT A CAUSE The eruption of protests in the streets of Seattle in November 1999 against the Millenium Round of the World Trade Organization WTO marked the peak of anti globalization fervor Protesters claimed the WTO is insensitive to the negative externalities produced by free trade on the environment and U S labor and criticized its lack of transparency While there is considerable debate about the root of the WTO s problems in Seattle 1 there is no doubt that the multilateral trading system faces severe challenges Meanwhile across the globe in Asia the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum APEC was still picking up the pieces left from the Asian crisis of 1997 8 Because APEC and the WTO both pursue free trade among other goals and are seen by their members to be inextricably and purposefully linked we might have expected to see APEC respond to some of the criticisms leveled at the WTO Indeed in 1993 APEC proved to be the beneficiary of the impasse in the GATT Uruguay Round and was invigorated with the creation of annual leaders meeting How has APEC responded to the pressures felt in Seattle What progress if



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