Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2012

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Asia-Pacific Integration: A Quantitative Assessment

Peter A. Petri, Michael G. Plummer, Fan Zhai

October 2011

East-West Center


Two emerging tracks of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific—one based on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and an Asian track—could consolidate the “noodle bowl” of current smaller agreements and provide pathways to a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). We examine the benefits and strategic incentives generated by these tracks over 2010-2025. The effects on the world economy would be small initially but by 2025 the annual welfare gains would rise to $104 billion on the TPP track, $303 billion on both tracks, and $862 billion with an FTAAP. The tracks will be competitive but their strategic implications are constructive: each would generate incentives for enlargement. Over time, strong economic incentives would emerge for the United States and China to consolidate the tracks into a region-wide agreement. Each track would bring a different template to such consolidation and can be viewed as defining a “disagreement point” in the Asia-Pacific bargaining game. The study is based on an analysis of 48 actual and proposed Asia-Pacific trade agreements and models impacts on variables including sectoral trade, output, employment and job shifts in 24 world regions.