U.S. trade policy toward Asia has undergone an important evolution over the last 50 years, reflecting not only changes in its vision of engaging Asia but also in the general American approach to trade negotiations. Put succinctly, in the late 1980s, the U.S. turned away from its former deep commitment to multilateral trade negotiations and began to pursue a strategy of “competitive liberalization.”

This shift has been marketed as an innovative approach to trade negotiations, and includes the pursuit of bilateral and minilateral arrangements as well as sectorally-based market opening. These have been followed at the turn of the millennium by the active pursuit of bilateral trade agreements with countries such as Chile, Morocco, Singapore, Australia, and South Korea.

How can we categorize the patterns of U.S. trade arrangements over time? What are the driving forces behind the evolution of U.S. trade policy towards Asia? What are the implications, both domestically and internationally, of this changing U.S. trade strategy? And finally, what is the likely direction of future U.S. trade policy?

About the speaker:

Dr. Vinod (Vinnie) Aggarwal is Professor in the Department of Political Science, Affiliated Professor in the Business and Public Policy group in the Haas School of Business, and Director of the Berkeley Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center (BASC) at the University of California at Berkeley. He also serves as Chief Economist for Frost and Sullivan, a global consulting and business research firm, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Business and Politics, and Co-Chair of the U.S. Consortium of APEC Study Centers. From 1991-1994, he chaired the Political Economy of Industrial Societies Program at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Aggarwal received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his M.A. and Ph.D. with a focus on international political economy from Stanford University. He has held fellowships from the Brookings Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, East-West Center, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and he currently holds an Abe Fellowship from the Japan Foundation for 2008-2009. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, the University of Geneva’s IOMBA program, INSEAD, Yonsei University, and Bocconi University. He is also a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and founding member of the U.S. Asia Pacific Council.

Dr. Aggarwal consults regularly with multinational corporations on strategy, trade policy, and international negotiations, including Russell Investments, the Investment Management Consultants Association, Cisco, Statoil, ING Clarion, Hewlett Packard, Qualcomm, Herman Miller, Italcementi, ARCO, and Nestle. He has been a consultant to the Mexican Government, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Defense Department, U.S. State Department, World Trade Organization, OECD, the Group of Thirty, IFAD, the International Labor Organization, ASEAN, and the World Bank. In 1990, he was Special Adviser on Trade Negotiations to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and has worked with the APEC Eminent Persons Group. In 1997, he won the Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award at the Haas School of Business for PhD teaching; in 2003 he was first runner up for the Cheit Award for MBA teaching and won first place for the MBA program in 2005.

His authored books include Liberal Protectionism, International Debt Threat, Debt Games, Le Renseignement Stratégique d'Entreprise, Une Nouvelle Approche des Phénomènes Sociaux, and he has edited Institutional Designs for a Complex World, Asia-Pacific Crossroads, Winning in Asia: European Style, Winning in Asia: Japanese Style, Winning in Asia: U.S. Style, Sovereign Debt Management, European Union Trade Strategies, The Strategic Dynamics of Latin American Trade, Bilateral Trade Agreements in the Asia Pacific, and Asia’s New Institutional Architecture. His newest book is Northeast Asia: Ripe for Integration? Prof. Aggarwal has also published over 80 articles and book chapters on the politics of trade and finance. His current research examines comparative regionalism in Europe, North America, and Asia with a focus on implications for the international system and multinational corporations. Dr. Aggarwal speaks five languages. He was born in Seattle, Washington.

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