Cooperation and Closure in Bilateral Trade Negotiations

Room 609, Melbourne Law School 185 Pelham Street

Little is known about cooperation between nations engaged in a regional economic association. This study investigates cooperation and closure between Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies engaged in negotiating five bilateral free trade agreements (FTA), including the Australia–Singapore FTA 2003, United States–Singapore FTA 2003, Chile–United States FTA 2003, Australia–United States FTA 2004, and Korea–Australia FTA 2014. This study found that a number of factors bring about or interfere with cooperation at the closure stage. Party stability and instability, linkage dynamics such as deadlines and delays, and asymmetrical power relations can each have an impact on closure. Movement toward closure normally shifts FTA negotiations from technical to senior political leaders, while negotiations are often concluded on the sidelines of meetings sponsored by international organizations including APEC Leaders’ Summit and Ministerial meetings.

Larry Crump is Deputy Director of the APEC Study Centre at Griffith University (Brisbane Australia), where he lectures in international negotiation and international management for the Griffith Business School. In the past year he studied the factors that support and inhibit policy coordination in regional association in Latin America and around the Mediterranean, as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (2016 – 2017, Germany). Prior to that he studied negotiation strategy through the Australia – Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations as a Professor at Kyung Hee University (2014 – 2015, Korea). He sits on the editorial board of the International Negotiation journal, the Negotiation Journal, and the Journal of Negotiation and Conflict Management. He specialises in the study of complex negotiations in multilateral, regional and bilateral settings to develop theory that has scholarly and professional utility.