Politics of East Asian Free Trade Agreements: Unveiling the Asymmetry between Korea and Japan

Economic perspectives on FTA politicsDomestic politics and FTAsSupply-side factors: institutions and political leadershipDemand-side factors: interest groups and civil societyArgument in briefInternational politics and FTAsoverviewNotesReferencesAsymmetric evolution of Korea and Japan’s FTAs, late 1990s–2020 The puzzleEvolution of Korea and Japan’s FTAs in global context: the 1990sGlobal context: FTA race in the 1990sThe Asian Financial Crisis of 1997: Korea and Japan joins the FTA raceThe importance of agricultural liberalization in Korea and Japan’s FTAsPatterns in Korea and Japan’s FTAs since the late 1990sFirst period: late 1990s–2012Second period 2013–2020Economic explanations for Korea and Japan’s FTAsExplaining divergences in Korea and Japan’s FTAsNotesReferencesTrade policymaking institutions Domestic trade governanceThe first period of domestic trade governance: 1990s–2012Cohesive domestic trade governance in Korea: 1990s–2012KORUS FTAJapan 1990s–2012: fragmented domestic trade governanceKorea–Japan FTAThe second period of domestic trade governance: reversals since 2013Korea 2013–2020: weakening cohesion in domestic trade governanceKorea–China FTATPPJapan 2013–2020: a shift toward more cohesive domestic trade governanceFrom TPP to CPTPPJapan–Australia FTAConclusionNotesReferencesPolitical leadership and trade policymakingIntroductionKorea 2003–2012: strong political leadership in FTAsProgressive president Roh Moo-hyun’s administration (2003–2007)Conservative president Lee Myung-bak’s administration (2008–2012)Korea 2013–2020: reversal to weak political leadership in FTAsConservative president Park Geun-hye’s administration (2013–2016)Progressive president Moon Jae-in’s administration (2017–present)DiscussionJapan 1990s–2012: weak political leadership in FTAsLDP governments (Late 1990s–2008)DPJ governments (2009–2012)Japan 2013–2020: strengthening political leadership in FTAsCoopting and weakening MAFF and the Norin ZokuReforming Japan’s farm groupDiscussionConclusionNotesReferencesCivil society, interest groups, and FTA politicsIntroductionJapan: institutionalized civil society–state relations on FTAs until 2012Keidanren and FTAs until 2013JA-Zenchu and the JA Group until 2013Keidanren and JA-Zenchu since 2013Weak presence of other civil society actors in Japan’s FTA politicsKorea: social mobilization and FTA politics until 2013Anti-neoliberal coalitionNeoliberal coalitionKorean civil society and the KORUS FTAKorea: failure to institutionalize civil society–state relation on tradeKorean civil society post 2013ConclusionNotesReferencesGeopolitics and changing Japan and Korea’s trade relationsIntroductionTPP 2013–2016: missed opportunity for U.S.–Japan–Korea economic allianceJapan: Prime Minister Abe’s push for TPPKorea: reluctance to join the TPPWeakening incentives for trade cooperationPost-2016: diverging trade positions of Japan and Korea vis-à-vis the U.S.U.S. withdrawal from the TPPWTO Ministerial ConferenceSection 232 on aluminum, steel, and autoUnderstanding the diverging responses of Japan and KoreaThe 2019 Japan–Korea trade conflictConclusionNotesReferencesU.S.–Japan trade agreementJapan–Korea trade conflictThe rise of ChinaReferences
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