Though FTA Unlikely, China, Japan, South Korea Trilateral Talks Remain Critical

Though FTA Unlikely, China, Japan, South Korea Trilateral Talks Remain Critical

The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea, which together account for 20 percent of global GDP, will meet in Beijing this weekend for their fifth annual trilateral summit.

The summit is intended to enhance cooperation in a wide range of areas, including security issues, but it will focus mainly on trade. Before leaving for Beijing, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda expressed his hope that the three leaders would announce the start of negotiations for a trilateral free trade agreement.

But Claude Barfield, a resident scholar and international trade policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, and Richard C. Bush III, director of Brookings Institution’s Center for Northeast Asia Policy Studies, both told Trend Lines that such deal is a long shot.

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