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US rule of TPP halts natural expansion

(Global Times)

10:02, November 14, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kickstarted a publicity campaign Thursday by Washington to push for a free trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), while pressing China on human rights. The approach Washington adopted in promoting the pact runs counter to its aim of strengthening mutual trust and ironing out differences in the Asia-Pacific region.

The TPP was formed with Singapore, Brunei, Chile and New Zealand as its original members. It gained impetus in 2008 after the US announced its willingness to join and invited other economies to follow suit. There are high benchmarks being set for the proposed TPP grouping, shedding light on product safety, labor standards, monitoring and economic legislation for its member states. The pact is more than a mere economic issue, according to Clinton.

The current goals put out by the US are truly ambitious. Clinton’s remarks specifically fueled speculation about Washington’s attempt to contain China through TPP. If the US is sincerely committed to the success of its TPP initiative, Clinton should not have adopted this tone.

A large membership for the TPP in Asia-Pacific requires better adaptability of TPP rules for nations absent from the current negotiations. The US, however, does not seem to be keen on adjusting the standards for the agreement. Instead, the expansion of the TPP is becoming akin to maximizing Washington’s interests – doubling its exports and dominating Asia. 

The prerequisite for any regional cooperation is the principle of mutual benefit, outside of which any moves are almost certainly doomed. Asia is witnessing a variety of vibrant cooperation mechanisms. The TPP needs time to adapt. However, regional cooperation would be derailed by great power politics.

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Leave your comment4 comments

  1. Name

AsianBiz at 2011-12-09123.98.136.*
The TPP is one of a few political tactics that the US has remaining to "contain China" without a cruder trade war.Ultimately though the US will have to do some hard self analysis and recognise that it is no longer the only superpower in town and it might as well learn to live with China than fight the inevitable.
Nic at 2011-11-1560.54.89.*
Europe, the largest trading partner of US is sinking; US is sinking as well and tries to grap any string to save herself. This is also their trait- smile in the face but with a dagger behind.Why join APEC if another TPP with exclusive motives is in the offing?US will not see their own woes, China is now the bogey man for US to vent their steam. Why? Cos China is a new player in this game and still feeling its way around. She should see the mask US is wearing and be careful about it. Yes, EAC, Latin America, Russia, Africa... are still avenues to break their blockade and exclude US from them too. Will the Chinese leadership be more objective and bold? Let's wait and see.
DrObserver at 2011-11-15111.240.62.*
I am glad to see that China is following a new path illuminated by strength and logic, instead of the well-trod path leading to American domination.
Che at 2011-11-14116.197.2.*
Tell me does Beijing tolerate the TPP if Washington insist on pushing for the TPP at the exclusion of China? Why tolerate such deliberate humiliation an snub from Washington? If this is the way Washington wants to play the game, why other to support APEC anymore - he brainchld of Washington in the first place? The TPP is all the more reason now fir Beijing to ignore APEC and let it die a natural death while encouraging the rise of the EAC - the East Asia Community or Union. Trans Pacific trade should be a matter for individual countries to pursue. What does it involve or matter for Washington to be involved with say trade relations between Philippines and Peru? As bilateral matters it is really none of Washington"s business. I"d like to see Beijing show more initiative and more appropriate responses. Forget about APEC. Create your own trading club bewteen EAC and Ltin America. Snub the U.S., Exclude them. SO Beijing, can you show some leadership?
  

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