Some news reports on the subject. First, thisold but long discussion in the Financial Times (FT).
(2) Harvard,May 15, 2015.
(3) LA Times, August 6, 2015.
(5) ATC, Deborah Elms,August 1, 2015.
(6) IP Watchdog,August 3, 2015.
The best free trade agreement (FTA) of course, is one that has the least involvement of governments because only people and corporations trade with each other, not countries or governments. The main function of governments including the multilaterals like the WTO and UN, is to have rule of law internationally, that agreements and contracts between and among companies and trade alliances are respected and enforced, violators are penalized based on transparent and mutually-agreed system of penalties.
We are far from that scenario, so we have to face what are currently existing, like the proposed TPP and other trade agreements.Of the 10 ASEAN countries, only four were invited in the TPP -- Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. I think among the reasons why only those 4 countries were invited is because they have little restrictions on foreign investments. Even socialist Vietnam is more friendly to global capitalism than the PH or Indonesia.