82 Seung Hwan Choi
Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have become increasingly prevalent since the
goods and services separately) had been received by the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Of these,
354 were in force.
All RTAs under GATT and WTO systems have in common the
status of being reciprocal free trade agreements between two or more member States.
Asian countries are getting more enthusiastic about RTAs. For example, South
Korea, despite being a later-comer than the United States (US) and the European
Union (EU) to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), has actively concluded
South Korea has signed 10 FTAs with Chile, Singapore, the European Free Trade
Association (EFTA), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India,
Canada, Indonesia, China, Japan-China, and Vietnam.
In addition, negotiations to
conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are ongoing
between ASEAN, South Korea, China, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The ten member States of ASEAN have set a goal of establishing the ASEAN
Economic Community by 2015, which may contribute to the creation of an East-
Asian Economic Community.
In 2012, meanwhile, negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
(TPP) continued between the following countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam,
Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the US. The 16th
round of the TPP negotiations was held from March 4 through 13, 2013, in Singapore.
Through the TPP, the US seeks to expand trade and investment in the dynamic Asia-
Once concluded, the TPP will become the most important RTA in the
1 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Oct. 30, 1947, 61 Stat. A3, T.I.A.S. 1700, 55 U.N.T.S. 187. The GATT
was modified and superseded in part by the GATT 1994, one of the WTO Agreements. The original GATT is now
known as the GATT 1947.
2 For details on the RTAs notified to the WTO, see the RTA Database, available at http://rtais.wto.org/UI/
PublicMaintainRTAHome.aspx (last visited on Mar. 18, 2013).
3 For details on the current status of and textbooks about the FTAs of Korea, see FTA Status of ROK, available at
http://www.mofat.go.kr/ENG/policy/fta/status/overview/index.jsp?menu=m_20_80_10 (last visited on Apr. 8, 2013).
4 See ASEAN Economic Community, available at http://www.asean.org/communities/asean-economic-community
(last visited on Apr. 8, 2013). For details on the East Asian Community, see Y. Sato Immigration Law and Policy of
Japan in the Age of East Asian Community Building, 3 J. EAST ASIA & INT’L L. 296-299 (2010).
5 The 11 countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the United