China and Economic Integration in East Asia: Implications for the United States

Policy Brief
March 2007

C. Fred BergstenAn essential pillar of a US strategy toward East Asian integration is acceptance of the legitimacy and desirability of that process. US acceptance of the economic integration of Europe is the model. Further, the United States-as well as Canada and Mexico-should seek to nest any new Pacific-Asia trade arrangements in a broader Asia-Pacific framework: Creation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) would embed Pacific Asia in the Asia Pacific. Another part of the US strategy should be to strengthen the substantive capabilities and political legitimacy of the global economic institutions, especially the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, to minimize the need for (and appeal of) new Asia-only regional compacts.