Jeffrey D. LewisandSherman Robinson
After two decades of relatively modest progress in the area of multilateral trade deregulation and regional trading arrangements, the 1990s witnessed a near stampede. In addition to the much-heralded conclusion of the Uruguay Round Agreement in late 1994, nearly every region of the world has established a bewildering and in some respects conflicting range of preferential trade or integration initiatives. Latin American economies responded to implementation of NAFTA with a combination of lobbying efforts to gain similar access through NAFTA accession as well as a range of new or revitalized competing regional agreements, from the Pacto Andino in the North to Mercosur in the South. Eastern European economies scramble to affiliate with the EU, which in turn worries about whether it is preferable to “deepen” before it “broadens.” Australia and New Zealand pursue implementation of their Close Economic Relation, and economies in southern Africa contemplate regional initiatives that revolve around the central role played by South Africa, emerging from isolation after almost two decades of confrontation with its neighbors.
Within East Asia, competing forces are also apparent. The commitment made in Bogor in November 1994 by the APEC countries to create an APEC free trade area by the year 2020 represented a major regional integration initiative. Reconsideration