Intra-regional economic interactions in East Asia were broadly compatible with the global liberal order from the late 1970s into the mid-2000s. Despite many national barriers to incoming trade and investment, more were coming down than going up. World Trade Organization (WTO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) rules and norms generally prevailed. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) adhering to longstanding global standards were the key sources of infrastructure loans. An array of challenges to that congruence between global and regional trade and finance have arisen within East Asia, particularly since the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2008-09 and the current Covid-19 pandemic. New institutions of trade and investment threaten to compete with one another and with existing global institutions in ways that pose challenges to the existing global liberal order and threaten the competitive opportunities for non-Asian corporations from both Europe and the United States. Whether policy-makers there can respond effectively to offset these challenges is a central question for near-term action.