U.S. EXITING TPP
Pullout will ‘create void that China is filling in the region’, says former negotiator
FORMER United States trade representative Michael Froman said the goals of a 12-nation Pacific trade pact he helped negotiate are likely to live on in some fashion and that President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the agreement was a “terrible mistake”.
Asia-Pacific nations value “high standard rules” negotiated in the Obama administration-led deal, said Froman yesterday in a Bloomberg Television interview from the annual Boao Forum, here. “The rules that we negotiated find their way into effect in some way or another in a number of different ways.”
Froman also warned that pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would have broader ramifications for the US.
It “creates a void that China is filling in the region,” said Froman, now a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
He pointed to the possibility that TPP countries continued without US involvement or turn to the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asia-wide agreement that’s favoured by China but does not include the US.
Moving forward with key provisions of the TPP won’t prove easy, though Australia in particular has spoken of that possibility.
Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the agreement in January, citing the risk to US jobs from a deal that would have covered 40 per cent of the global economy.
Since then, regional attention