The U.S.-China trade and investment relationship, with its enormous promise and persistent frictions, may be the most consequential component of Trans-Pacific trade. But there are many other important and complicated aspects of trade policy in this region. The United States maintains free trade agreements with South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Peru, Colombia, and Chile, and recently concluded a comprehensive trade and investment agreement with 11 Pacific-Rim nations. Although the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has not been ratified by the U.S. Congress, is uncertain, the region’s economic and geostrategic importance to U.S. policy objectives is only going to increase in the years ahead.

On this page you will find Cato analyses of the U.S.-China trade relationship, the TPP, WTO and other disputes involving countries in the region, as well and many other issues of trans-pacific prominence.

More on Trans-Pacific Trade

Cato Studies

Trump’s First Trade Deal: The Slightly Revised Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

By Simon Lester, Inu Manak, and Kyounghwa Kim. Free Trade Bulletin No. 73. June 13, 2019.

Where’s the Beef? Finding a Better Way to Resolve U.S.-China Trade Conflicts

By Simon Lester and Huan Zhu. Free Trade Bulletin No. 71. November 8, 2017.

Responsible Stakeholders: Why the United States Should Welcome China’s Economic Leadership

By Colin Grabow. Policy Analysis No. 821. October 3, 2017.


Safeguarding Policy Space in Investment Agreements

Simon Lester and Bryan Mercurio. IIEL Issue Brief. December 2017.

The TPP’s Contribution to Public International Law

Simon Lester. ASIL Insights. Vol. 19. No. 26. December 2, 2015.

The TPP and the Future of Trade Agreements

Inu Manak and Simon Lester. Latin American Journal of International Trade Law. Vol. 2. No. 1. 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Is the TPP Free Trade?

Policy Report. September/October 2016.

Trade and Adjustment Costs

Pierre Lemieux. Regulation. Fall 2016.

Protectionism by Any Other Name

Pierre Lemieux. Regulation. Fall 2014.


Trump, Trade, and the Asia Pacific

Featuring Colin Grabow, Daniel J. Ikenson, and Peter Russo. November 29, 2017. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Dealing with China’s Steel Overcapacity

Featuring Daniel R. Pearson and Daniel J. Ikenson. October 5, 2016. Policy Forum.

The TPP and Pharmaceutical Protections: Too Strong, Too Weak, or Just Right?

Featuring K. William Watson. June 16, 2016. Policy Forum.


The Competition for World Resources: China’s Demand for Commodities

By Daniel Griswold. February 8, 2007.

The Future of NAFTA: “Hecho en China”?

By Daniel Griswold. November 15, 2006.

China: Mega-Threat or Quiet Dragon

By Daniel J. Ikenson. March 6, 2006.