China, Japan, and South Korea are the biggest exporters of East Asia. Together, their exports account for 22.6 percent of total U.S. trade. Time and again, the U.S. has imposed punitive tariffs or imposed pressures to elevate local currency values on countries that it runs trade deficits with. While East Asian countries have been prime targets for ‘bashing’ by U.S. policymakers at the height of export growths, their policy responses have not been uniform. The book project unravels the reasons for different East Asian responses to US protectionist pressures that are not clearly understood. It builds a theoretical framework of institutional variance to analyze East Asian responses with regard to U.S.-initiated trade remedy measures, WTO disputes, and currency appreciation pressures. The book project complements the IR scholarship on East Asia heavily rooted in geopolitical analysis, and argues through a comparative, microscopic analysis of each bilateral relationship that institutional variance among the three states in trade and monetary policymaking has led to different responses to economic conflicts with the U.S.: Japan’s acquiescence, South Korea’s reciprocation, and China’s escalation. This book project is based on years of on-site research combining archival research, policy discussions and in-depth interviews with government officials, policy analysts, academics, trade lawyers, and business persons in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, and Washington, DC from 2010 to 2017.