What’s ahead if US quits TPP?

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHONG NAN and WANG QINGYUN in Bei­jing Con­tact the writer at zhong­nan@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

The United States’ ex­pected with­drawal from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship may pro­vide “great op­por­tu­ni­ties” for China to work out a wider trade agree­ment as a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive, ex­perts said on Tues­day.

US pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump re­leased a video mes­sage on so­cial me­dia on Mon­day giv­ing his plans for the first 100 days of his pres­i­dency. These in­cluded with­draw­ing from the trade deal on his first day in of­fice as one of six im­me­di­ate steps aimed at “putting Amer­ica first”.

China should seize this op­por­tu­nity to start the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pa­cific to in­clude coun­tries and re­gions that have joined the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship and the 16-mem­ber Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship, said Wang Huiyao, di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for China and Glob­al­iza­tion. The Bei­jing cen­ter is an independent, non-profit think tank that con­ducts re­search on world af­fairs, eco­nomic is­sues and glob­al­iza­tion.

China should invite the US to join the China-led Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank to en­ter more global mar­kets to­gether, Wang said.

Even though the US was ab­sent, the 11 other Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship mem­ber coun­tries, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, Canada, Chile, Malaysia and Mex­ico, dis­cussed in Lima, Peru, the pos­si­bil­ity of keep­ing the trade deal. Ja­pan’s lower house of par­lia­ment ap­proved the deal ear­lier this month.

“Their moves show that the 11 coun­tries that signed a ba­sic agree­ment on the (TPP) in Oc­to­ber are keen to fa­cil­i­tate free trade moves,” said Wang, who added that China should talk with Ja­pan and South Korea to pro­mote the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pa­cific dur­ing the China-Ja­pan-South Korea lead­ers’ meet­ing in Tokyo next month.

“Since the FTAAP is able to com­bine the TPP and RCEP and ben­e­fit re­gional trade de­vel­op­ment, it can put an end to the eco­nomic frag­men­ta­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion that un­der­mines eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion,” said Tu Xin­quan, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Eco­nom­ics in Bei­jing.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news con­fer­ence on Tues­day that China wel­comes all free trade mea­sures that can im­prove eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

Mem­ber economies at the re­cent Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Eco­nomic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing in Lima have agreed to con­tinue ad­vanc­ing the FTAAP process, and the sig­nal this sends will be help­ful to stim­u­late both re­gional and global trade ac­tiv­i­ties, Geng said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.