Montag, 20.08.2018 04:59 Uhr

US withdrawal from the TPP

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 15.01.2018, 14:24 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 6170x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The Asia-Pacific region comprises some of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies, including, in the Americas, the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile, and in Austral-Asia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The 21 economies along the Pacific Rim that include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum have 40% of the world’s population, generate 60% of

of the world’s GDP and supply almost half of global trade. The region is, at any rate, a major focus of U.S. trade policy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a innovative trade agreement signed by 12 Pacific Rim countries including the US on 4 February 2016. On his first full day in office, on 24 January 2017, President Trump pulled the US out of Trans-Pacific Partnership leaving the other 11 signatories to handle with the consequences. They have since declared to move forward even without US participation, re-naming the regional agreement under the name of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Negotiations on the CPTPP will continue in 2018. There are implications of the US withdrawal from the TPP and the European Union should position itself in this high-growth and geopolitically-strategic area. The then-new United States started its trajectory to becoming a Pacific power with the 1804 Louisiana Purchase. This led to the US-UK agreement on the Oregon Territory in 1848, bringing the United States to the Pacific. The acquisitions of California (from Mexico by war in 1848), Alaska (purchased from Russia in 1867) as well as Hawaii and the Philippines in 1898 (the former by annexation and the latter through the Spanish-American war) expanded America’s “Manifest Destiny” into the Pacific.

Its power and influence grew with Matthew Perry’s “Black Ships” opening Tokugawa Japan to the West in 1853-54 and U.S. Secretary of State Johns Hay’s 1899 “Open Door” policy eroding European influence in China. The end of World War II saw the United States as the pre-eminent power in the region, but also started its competition with China, with the Communist Party’s take-over of mainland China in 1949 and its engagement in the Korean War in the 1950s and the Vietnam War that ended in 1975.

Even though TPP was written with China in mind, all the parties acknowledged that the agreement was by far the most largescale and wide-ranging trade agreement they had ever entered into, becoming a model by which to judge their other free trade agreements, including those negotiated with the European Union. The fact that China is the real challenge to the United States and the global trading system seems not evident from the US Administration’s trade policy toward the Asia-Pacific region. As the Administration withdraws from the TPP agreement China is pressed to be a more “responsible” player in global trade. The US withdrawal alienates its four major trading partners in the region (Canada, Mexico, Japan and Korea) and

China continues to be the major focus of the Administration’s review of trade deficits. Beijing could be affected by the Section 232 investigations into steel and aluminium (but not much, as its imports are already blocked by anti-dumping and duty tariffs), it is now under the July Section 301 investigation on intellectual property and just had the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor negated. Yet precisely because it does not have any agreements giving it preferential treatment in the U.S. market, China has not been dangerously harmed. Indeed, the withdrawal of USA from TPP and the potential dissolution of FTAs which give China’s competitors preferential access in the U.S. market would all actually improve China’s relative position.

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