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The United States is on the sidelines as China and other Asia-Pacific countries begin trade agreements

China will join the US allies, including Japan and Australia, and join the new Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, which will begin on Saturday. The United States is watching from bystanders.

new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Eventually, more than 90% of tariffs on commerce between 15 member states will be eliminated, and economists say they will benefit trade in the region. According to some analysts, it will also give China a more important role in setting trade rules for the Asia-Pacific region at the expense of the United States.

“This will be a group of countries working together to develop new rules and standards,” said Wendy Cutler, vice president and former US trade official at the Institute for Policy Studies of the Asian Association. .. “”[The U.S. is] It’s moving in the opposite direction. “

China was excluded from the comprehensive and progressive agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a previous trade agreement that the United States had led to counter China’s influence in the region.However The United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Under the former president in 2017 Donald Trump, Said the deal would hurt US workers. Many lawmakers are also opposed to the deal, saying the Biden administration has no plans to rejoin the deal.

Henry Gao, an Asian trade expert and associate professor of law at Singapore University of Business, said the new RCEP “could be a call for the United States to rethink its strategy and awaken to return to the Asia-Pacific.”The White House is the executive of the Biden administration United States involved in Asia Pacific Discussions were underway about economically and how to do it.

Other RCEP member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. With RCEP members accounting for 30% of the world’s population and gross domestic product, the partnership has become the world’s largest regional trade agreement. US-Mexico-Canada Agreement And the European Union Customs Union.

The agreement aims to eliminate almost all tariffs on imports between nations in up to 20 years and establishes common standards for intellectual property rights and e-commerce.

In a November 8 letter, 13 GOP senators, led by Senate Finance Committee top Republican Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), asked Biden to help create new trade rules for the Asia-Pacific region. I urged you to do it. The absence of the United States “encourages potential partners to move forward without us and ensures that China retains control of the world economy.”

The RCEP will begin when China is seeking a greater role in developing trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region, with little US present. The Brookings Institution estimates that RCEP could add $ 209 billion annually to global revenues and $ 500 billion to global trade by 2030.

An enhanced version of this story is posted on

The United States is on the sidelines as China and other Asia-Pacific countries begin trade agreements The United States is on the sidelines as China and other Asia-Pacific countries begin trade agreements

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