Shaping the Asia-Pacific Future
Energy, Trade, & Industry
This project seeks to formulate practical policy recommendations related to some of the most pressing and fundamental requirements for long-term security and prosperity in the region. It focuses on the development of durable understandings and measures affecting strategic military stability, and on fostering effective institutions and agreements supporting the open and rules-based movement of goods, services, and capital. The Scowcroft Center will develop actionable recommendations to governments through consultation and dialogue with forward-thinking individuals and collaborative partners in the Asia-Pacific region. The two specific issue modules where new thinking might be constructive include:
• A Pro-Active Agenda for Building a Durable Rules-Based Liberal Economic Order in the Asia-Pacific Region: The project will formulate public policy recommendations for strengthening the long-term institutional structure of a liberal, inclusive rules-based economic order in the Asia-Pacific region. Given growing challenges to the current architecture, a liberal open order will only be sustained and extended if the United States exerts a more robust leadership that goes beyond present levels of commitment. The report will address the following key components of a more comprehensive and pro-active US agenda for building a durable rules-based economic order in the Asia-Pacific region:
o Transforming multilateral development banks in support of private capital and good local governance;
o Enhancing institutional mechanisms in the monetary field that support financial stability and economic growth and adapt to the new weight of Asian economies
• Mapping Northeast Asian Futures: This effort seeks to initiate a Track 1.5 dialogue on key strategic issues affecting the future of Northeast Asia over the coming two decades. It would raise sensitive questions still too difficult for Track 1 diplomacy. This project would be an effort to explore what issues offer the best prospect of realizing new areas of cooperation that would help reinforce regional peace and stability, with prospective issues outlined below:
o Civil Nuclear Power
o Global Commons
o Other Unanticipated Developments
Shaping the Asia-Pacific Future: Strengthening the Institutional Architecture for an Open, Rules-Based Economic Order, by Olin Wethington and Robert Manning, June 2015
A Path to US Leadership in the Asia-Pacific: Revitalizing the Multilateral Financial Institutions, by Olin Wethington and Robert Manning, November 2016
Event on April 24, 2017: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Multilateralism in the 21st Century
Event on April 17, 2015: China's Vision for a More Prosperous Asia-Pacific Region
Event on April 15, 2015: Japan's Priorities in Shaping the Future of the Asia-Pacific Economic Order
Cross Border Oil and Gas Pipelines Project
The landscape of global energy markets is changing with developing Asia, stagnating Europe, rising oil and gas production in non-OPEC countries, and the U.S. shale revolution. The transformation of the global energy supply-demand structure is powerfully influencing regional energy market dynamics and geopolitical relationships. At the nexus of these changing dynamics is growing competition to develop a number of major Asian and Eurasian pipelines to transport oil and natural gas across the region. Key producer and consumer states across Eurasia have strategic reasons to forge new transit routes and diversify supply lines with new overland and undersea pipelines. This project will result in a book that examines what, beyond market reasons, brings countries into binding cross-border oil and gas pipeline deals. Building on the principal investigator’s Ph.D. dissertation, the book will explain why some proposed cross-border pipeline projects succeed while others fail and how political and economic factors play out interactively in the decision-making of cross-border pipeline projects.
US-Republic of Korea Smart Partnership: New Cooperation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The project will feature roundtable discussions exploring US-Republic of Korea (ROK) cooperation in key areas related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with a focus on the development and use of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, and the Internet of Things. These roundtables will bring together US, European, and Korean experts from the commerce, trade, energy, and industrial communities. Each roundtable discussion will yield two written papers for a total of six. These six papers will be compiled into an Atlantic Council report and will be supplemented with actionable policy recommendations. The final report will be released at a conference in Seoul, South Korea in early 2018.
The US-Japan Alliance and Future of the Asia-Pacific Regional Trade Architecture
In the aftermath of US rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), uncertainty looms over the future regional trade architecture. Can Japan’s effort to move a free trade agenda forward centered on the TPP-11 and EU-Japan, as well as other bilateral and multilateral efforts to uphold TPP-level standards for a rule-based system become the norm? How does US absence from TPP impact China-led efforts to finalize Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations impact the TPP-11? What are the challenges to both regional and global trade from growing protectionist trends, and particularly, Chinese mercantile trade and industrial policies, as well as the growth of digital commerce and emerging technologies? In response to these and other important questions, this project will seek to provide concrete recommendations on the future of US-Japan and regional trade in light of the end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and rise of Chinese mercantile trade and industrial policies.