Toward a Consolidated Preferential Tariff Structure in East Asia: Going beyond ASEAN+1 FTAs
ASEAN countries are discussing a possible template for trade in goods chapter of so-called ASEAN++ FTA (also known as RCEP). Analyses of tariff structures under the current ASEAN+1 FTAs give insights on possible approaches as well as challenges in this discussion. To meet 90% or 95% tariff elimination thresholds, both ASEAN countries and their FTA partners should make further efforts. When a "common concession" approach, which we advocate in this paper, is applied, the challenge becomes even larger as member countries should focus their policy discretion on a more limited number of sensitive products. These challenges, on the other hand, mean room for additional gains for potential users of the new agreement despite the existence of ASEAN+1 FTAs.
[Note: This is a slightly revised and updated version of ERIA Policy Brief 2012-03 meant to replace the original one issued in 2012. The original Brief is being replaced in view of new data and information that have recently become available and which the authors have been able to gather and re-compute. The information and data in this Brief are relevant and useful to the ongoing negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), thereby necessitating the issuance of a revised version to replace the original Policy Brief albeit using the same number (2012-03).]