Session details

6th Asia Pacific Regional Forum Biennial Conference

27 Feb - 1 Mar 2019

Hotel New Otani

Session information

Asia in the crosshairs of a new world trading system
Hotel New Otani


Asia Pacific Regional Forum (Lead)


Since the Trump administration took power in January 2017, the world has witnessed the most tumultuous period in international trade in decades. Settled expectations have been upended, and countries around the world are now being forced to reconsider their overall trade policies. The region most affected by these developments is Asia. The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), followed by the demand for renegotiation of The United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to accommodate US concerns about automotive trade, culminating with the imposition of tariffs on billion in imports from China all demonstrate a clear intention by the Trump administration to reduce liberalisation of US-Asia trade. Asia has responded to these attacks by advancing its own trade agreements, in particular the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – in essence, the TPP minus the US – as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Asian countries have also responded with vigorous challenges before the World Trade Organisation to some of the measures. But even though Asian countries and companies have been diversifying and exploring other alternatives, including stronger relationships with Western economies other than the US, the fact remains that these recent developments have fundamentally ended ‘business as usual’ around the world. Our panel with be addressing these issues, and will also discuss the following questions: • What do these changes mean for businesses dependent on trade in goods both outside of Asia, and also within the Asia region? • How can companies protect their supply chains from further disruptions? • What legal mechanisms are available to counsel to help protect their clients’ interests, and what strategies are likely to be most effective in helping them achieve these ends? • How do these changes affect companies’ compliance activities, and do they raise new risks?

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Christopher Cochlin Cassidy Levy Kent, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Eric Emerson Steptoe + Johnson LLP, Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Co-Chair, International Trade and Customs Law Committee


Kala Anandarajah Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Singapore, Singapore
Takahiro Ikawa Fujitsu Limited, Tokyo, Japan
Youngjin Jung Kim & Chang, Seoul, South Korea; Working Group Officer, Antitrust Section
Kazumochi Kometani Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Tokyo, Japan
Weiyang Tang Jun He Law Offices, Shanghai, China