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


Trump Would Further Damage U.S. Manufacturing if He Restricts Steel Imports

By Daniel R. Pearson. MarketWatch. June 22, 2017.

The Danger of Invoking National Security to Rationalize Protectionism

By Daniel J. Ikenson. China-US Focus. May 15, 2017.

What to Expect from the High-Stakes Trump-Xi Mar-A-Lago Meeting

By Christine Guluzian. The Hill (Online). April 6, 2017.

Cato Studies

Cybersecurity or Protectionism? Defusing the Most Volatile Issue in the U.S.–China Relationship

By Daniel J. Ikenson. Policy Analysis No. 815. July 13, 2017.

It’s Time to Negotiate a New Economic Relationship with China

By Simon Lester and Huan Zhu. Free Trade Bulletin No. 70. April 4, 2017.

Into the Abyss: Is a U.S.-China Trade War Inevitable?

By Daniel J. Ikenson. Free Trade Bulletin No. 69. February 6, 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 Barbee and Simon Lester. Latin American Journal of International Trade Law. Vol. 2. No. 1. 2014.

Litigation Bonanza

Simon Lester. The International Economy. Spring 2013.

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.


Dealing with China’s Steel Overcapacity

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

Trade Policy Priority One: Averting a U.S.-China Trade War

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson. April 11, 2012. Capitol Hill Briefing.

U.S.-China Trade, Exchange Rates, and the U.S. Economy

Featuring Daniel Griswold. July 19, 2006. 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.