Should Korea Join the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Policy Brief
14-22
September 2014

Despite a lack of consensus among Koreans, Korean officials recognize that—sooner or later—Korea will need to be part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Jeffrey J. Schott and Cathleen Cimino conclude that Korea should seek to join the TPP as soon as possible if it can manage its bilateral trade issues with Japan in a pragmatic way. If politics and economic sensitivities prevent such a step, Korea should encourage TPP participants to institute an "open enrollment" period soon after the TPP deal is signed and immediately take advantage of it. Korea should also try to conclude an ambitious trade deal with China, paving the way for China to join TPP as well.