The rise of global value chains (GVCs) has changed the patterns of trade in East Asia. This paper aims to analyze GVCs since the mid 1990s and to investigate the determinants of East Asian trade in value-added. At the world level, export (measured in value-added) is increasingly sensitive to the capital–labor ratio and high-skilled labor productivity. In East Asia, however, the opposite trend is seen. It is also found that free trade agreements do not promote export in East Asia, only export in intermediate goods.