This paper explores how APEC and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can be mutually useful. Despite the different nature of APEC and the TPP negotiations, the two processes may complement and feed into each other. On the one hand, work developed within APEC can contribute positively into the TPP negotiations. On the other hand, TPP can also assist in strengthening Regional Economic Integration in the APEC region.
The paper also highlights the importance of keeping APEC’s nature and not changing it to an RTA/FTA-negotiating role, which can affect APEC’s key advantage as the most relevant consultative forum in the Asia-Pacific. The non-binding nature of APEC allows it to explore issues that would otherwise not be discussed by its members. This atmosphere is conducive to share ideas and mature them in a cooperative manner for the benefit of the APEC community. In this sense, APEC is better suited to keep its voluntary character and continue on its current role as incubator of ideas.