Erica Benjamin


Erica Benjamin is a first-year M.A. of International Affairs student at American University in the Comparative and Regional Studies Program. Her area of focus is political economic and security issues in East and Southeast Asia. Erica is from Indianapolis, Indiana and spent the last six years in Central Texas where she also earned her B.A. in Political Science at Texas A&M University. Currently, her research interests include international trade policy between the US, East Asia and ASEAN, and regional security issues related to increased globalization. Additional hobbies include writing literary and musical pieces, anime and the art of tea making.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Southeast Asia: Mitigating Future Financial Crisis”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement has the potential to boost the world economy, however, it also presents an opportunity for even greater financial crisis through increased globalization and interdependence. This is especially true for the Southeast Asian nations that plan to participate in the agreement as their financial institutions generally lack the same robust safeguards and structures that could help prevent financial crisis. This paper examines the causal factors of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 as they differ from the more recent 2008 Global Financial Crisis. It discusses what these factors suggest will occur during the next economic recession for those ASEAN countries that plan to participate in the TPP agreement, primarily Malaysia and Vietnam, as it relates to the rest of the world if they maintain their current financial policies and regulations. Additionally, it highlights the new financial institutional policies that are necessary for Malaysia and Vietnam to participate in the TPP and evaluates those policies ability to limit the effects of globalization in the trade market if individual TPP countries slip into economic recession. It concludes with recommendations for those ASEAN countries that plan to participate in the TPP agreement so that they may avoid the amplified effect of increased globalization and interdependence during future economic recession.