Negotiation on the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Currently under negotiation is the China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a trilateral agreement whose constituents last met in March this year for the fourth round of negotiations. This agreement will add to the growing number of group FTAs being negotiated or currently in use assisting growth in the region.

The signing of this agreement will promote trade amongst these highly influential powers in Asia with the removal of barriers and a decrease in the costs of international trade. Its signage will result in a crucial economic boost for all involved. The negotiation and preceding close cooperation that will be required for its completion may also assist to ease political tensions by facilitating discussion on contentious topics affecting the region.  

This agreement is one of the many bilateral, trilateral and regionally encompassing agreements. It will add to the increasing number of FTAs which adds to the confusing ‘spaghetti bowl’ effect of FTAs which is when the differing FTAs start to cause more regulatory harm than good for business’ trying to expand or export overseas due to a confusion of necessary requirements.

China, amongst other regional powers, has expressed praise for the benefits of larger FTAs such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This work may even eventually expand to the creation of an encompassing APEC Free Trade Area thus cutting down all red tape that restricts the movements of goods and services amongst the whole region and confusion that comes from individual agreements.