APEC, globalization, and 9/11
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) has, in the main, been based on attempts to advance neoliberal ideas about economic governance, although this has stimulated a great deal of controversy and resistance. Having failed--despite much effort--to entrench neoliberalism within APEC the United States and other "Western" members of APEC are now "securitizing" economic policy in an effort to reconfigure the Asia Pacific along lines favored by major capitalist players in the region. Critics argue that this securitization of economics is simply a tactical effort to bring in through the back door policies that APEC members have resisted in the past. Faced with the prospect of not getting its own way through straight trade negotiations within APEC, Washington appears to be promoting measures -- "urgently needed in the name of security"--that might never have been accepted otherwise. At the same time, a twin strategy of pursuing bilateral trade negotiations with key APEC states is threatening the multilateral nature of the body, further emasculating APEC's position as a serious trade body.