Senior fellow Jeffrey J. Schott at the Peterson Institute for International Economics remarked on Sept. 28 that the Korean government’s non-participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in its early stage was a strategic mistake.
“Korea, which is one of the first countries to be allowed into the TPP after the scheme becomes officially effective, is likely to face high entry barriers as a latecomer,” he said at the Korea and the TPP seminar in Washington D.C., adding, “Examples of such entry barriers include a higher degree of market opening attributable to less bargaining power and additional demands from Congress exceeding the terms stipulated in the KORUS FTA.” He also explained that the final agreement for the establishment of the TPP is likely to be concluded at the ministerial meeting scheduled for Sept. 30 in Atlanta, Georgia, and negotiations for Korea’s accession to the TPP will be able to kick off in 2017 or later.
“The Korean government is seeing a TPP membership as an advantage, and it is currently taking its time to go over specific benefits,” Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) director Lee Il-hyeong said in response at the seminar, continuing, “I don’t believe it constitutes a strategic mistake.”
In the meantime, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun recently reported that the ministerial meeting scheduled for Sept. 30 is expected to show some different aspects than that of late July this year. According to it, the United States, Japan, and Canada are in a hurry to conclude the agreement with elections around the corner, whereas New Zealand and Mexico are stalling for time to get more benefits for their domestic industries.