Best to get the TPP done right, not done fast

A demonstrator protests against the legislation to give US President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, during a protest march on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 21 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richard Katz, Oriental Economist Report

Unless the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks are concluded soon, they risk dragging on interminably. If that happens, the United States’ capacity to function as a benign world hegemon will be diminished.

To avoid this, the White House is determined to get the pact signed and ratified by the end of 2015. Read more…

Getting trade and currency policy instruments and objectives mixed up

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on trade and the economy from in Oregon, USA, 8 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Trade flows are clearly linked to the value of national currencies. This is the innocuous starting point that leads the political classes and lobbyists in America into a pickle over the incorporation of clauses that seek to protect against ‘currency manipulation’ into trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that is being pushed by the Obama administration as the economic arm of its pivot towards Asia. Read more…

Keep currency clauses out of the global trading system

People protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) gather as US President Barack Obama attends a fund raiser for the Democratic National Committee in Oregon, 7 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

Ever since the post-gold standard age of adjustable exchange rates was inaugurated in the mid-1930s to consensually engineer a negotiated depreciation, the question of exchange rates and of trade have been entwined and subject to international oversight. Read more…

South Korean security caught in the US–China crossfire

South Korean Hyunmu-3 cruise missiles are displayed during a ceremony marking the anniversary of Armed Forces Day at a military airport near Seoul, South Korea. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Kiho Kwon, Peace Network

The US–South Korea relationship is beginning to show clear signs of disagreement on the issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment. As the US aggressively pushes the need for this cutting-edge missile defense system, the South Korean government is becoming more reluctant to entertain its possibility. Read more…

Why US military bases divide Okinawa and mainland Japan

Protesters gather holding placards reading 'NO to the new base in Henoko!' during a demonstration against the construction of a new US military base in an environmentally sensitive part of the island in Nago city, Okinawa island on 28 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Shino Hateruma, Waseda University

Okinawa is trapped in a dilemma regarding US military bases in the prefecture. For the past 70 years, the bases have helped deter external attacks on Japan, including on Okinawa. But with over 25,000 US military personnel in Okinawa, and about 18 per cent of its land area being used by the US military, the presence of the bases endangers the lives and properties of the local people. Read more…

Mr Abe in Washington

Secretary of State John Kerry stands next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Abe's wife Akie Abe for a photograph in front of Kerry's residence in Boston, 26 April 2015. Abe has arrived in the US for a week-long visit. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s week-long visit to the United States this week and his speech on Wednesday to a joint session of the US Congress represent an unusual opportunity for Japan’s diplomacy. Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint meeting of Congress. Read more…

Breaking the deadlock on the Korean peninsula

Shin Han-yong, vice president of a group of South Korean firms with factories at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea, speaks to reporters after returning from the park, 20 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sangsoo Lee, ISDP

With the Six Party Talks — the main multilateral mechanism to negotiate North Korea’s denuclearisation — moribund since December 2008, the North Korean nuclear issue appears increasingly intractable. North Korea has proceeded with its nuclear program and enshrined its nuclear status in its constitution. Read more…