CPTPP an­other un­mis­tak­able sign Wash­ing­ton bark­ing up wrong tree

China Daily (USA) - - COMMENT -

THE COM­PRE­HEN­SIVE PRO­GRES­SIVE Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (CPTPP) went into ef­fect on Sun­day. Bei­jing Youth Daily com­ments:

Af­ter the United States with­drew from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment, Ja­pan in­her­ited the de­sire to ad­vance the re­gional trade pact and suc­cess­fully de­vel­oped it into the CPTPP, which has 11 mem­bers that to­gether ac­count for 13 per­cent of the global econ­omy and 500 mil­lion peo­ple.

So far the leg­is­la­tures of seven coun­tries — Aus­tralia, Canada, Ja­pan, Mex­ico, New Zealand, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam — have rat­i­fied the agree­ment. And it will only be a mat­ter of time be­fore the leg­is­la­tures of the other four sig­na­to­ries — Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru — fol­low suit.

Although the agree­ment re­mains open to the United States, it is un­likely the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion, an ob­sti­nate sup­porter of uni­lat­er­al­ism and pro­tec­tion­ism, will go back on its de­ci­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to the Peter­son In­sti­tute for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomics, a think tank based in Wash­ing­ton DC, the US would have been able to make a profit of about $131 bil­lion each year as a mem­ber of the planned TPP, now as an out­sider to the CPTPP agree­ment, the US stands to lose at least $2 bil­lion a year.

For in­stance, af­ter the CPTPP is in place, the US will have to pay much higher tar­iffs than Aus­tralia and Canada for the beef and wheat it ex­ports to Ja­pan.

The Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment was signed by Ja­pan and the Euro­pean Union half a year ago — which cov­ers 600 mil­lion peo­ple and ac­counts for one-third of the global econ­omy and 40 per­cent of world trade.

That means that Tokyo and al­most all of Wash­ing­ton’s main Western al­lies have now con­veyed an un­mis­tak­able mes­sage to the US ad­min­is­tra­tion that they re­main firm pro­po­nents and ad­vo­cates of free trade and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, two pil­lars of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion.

Now, Wash­ing­ton has to live with the fact that it can­not use its eco­nomic might to re­verse the over­all trends of the global eco­nomic and trade sys­tem.

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