Haddin / A.P.
President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that the United States should ally with other democracies so that they write laws governing global trade – not China.
He was responding to a reporter’s question on whether the United States should join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a major trade agreement signed by 15 Asia – Pacific countries on Sunday.
RCEP unites China, Japan and South Korea for the first time in a trade deal, including 10 Southeast Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
It will make the US the largest economy and India, one of the largest trading blocks in the world, the largest democracy – China will further strengthen trade and investment partnerships in the region and around the world.
RCEP members make up 2.2 billion people, one-third of the world’s population, and a similar share of the global economy and trade. Accordingly Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. The Estimated by the Peterson Institute for International Economics The new agreement is expected to boost the global economy by $ 186 billion.
After eight years of strategic negotiations, the novel Corona Virus Pandemic is wreaking havoc on the economies of member states. For example, in Indonesia and the Philippines, the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections reaches 900 million cases, and the virus-containing lockdowns lay off millions of people.
A Joint statementThe RCEP members said that the creation of the agreement demonstrates our strong commitment to support the recovery from the recession, job creation and “open, all-encompassing, rule-based trade and investment”.
This agreement will facilitate investment and reduce low tariffs in member countries over time. Deborah Elmes, Founder and Executive Director of the Singapore-based Asian Trade Center, said: “Not everything will be cut. Not everything will go to zero. The time limit on some sensitive products is too long,” she says.
For example, Japan will maintain tariffs on rice, wheat, dairy products, sugar, beef, and pork to protect its farmers. Bloomberg reported.
The agreement “may be more desirable, but it’s 15 very different groups,” linking rich countries such as Japan and Australia with poorer ones such as Laos and Cambodia.
Some media outlets have branded the RCEP a China-led effort, but analysts say it is not accurate. Although China is the largest economy in the agreement, it has not dominated China for a long time, ”said Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He selected ASEAN members as drivers, including Japan and Singapore.
India was a party in the talks but withdrew last year.
President-elect Joe Biden has not specifically said whether he will join the USRCEP Monday conference in Delaware.
But the U.S. accounts for 25% of the world’s economy, and “we need to align with other democracies, another 25% or more, so we can adjust the rules of the road instead of having China and others. Suggest results as it is the only game in town. “
He said workers and environmentalists would “be at the table in any business dealings we make” after he takes office.
The RCEP does not consider labor standards or environmental protection. Government-owned enterprises are not barred from competing with government subsidies.
“It does not provide the kind of discipline or constraint that would change China’s economic model,” said Chad Bournemon, a business economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Analysts say another agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is more comprehensive than the RCEP. Following the signing of the remaining 11 countries after the US withdrawal, the Trans-Pacific Agreement, renamed “Comprehensive and Progressive” in its name, imposes high standards on regulations, imposes certain restrictions on government-owned enterprises, lowers tariffs, promotes innovation and digitalisation.
President Barack Obama has won the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement as a tidal wave against China’s writing of global trade laws in the 21st century. But within days of taking office, President Trump withdrew the US from the deal, imposed tariffs on trade partners and launched a trade war with China.
A Brookings Institution Blog analysis suggests that the Trans-Pacific deal and the new RCEP will offset global losses from the US-China trade war, both for China and the United States.
Green says the U.S. regrets being part of two major multinational agreements. He says this will give China two advantages: “First, it will create a narrative within the region that China is a new leader with greater influence in trade and legislation. Second, it will reduce barriers to trade with China as long as the U.S. does nothing to reduce barriers to trade with the United States.”
Former U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler points to another takeaway, Writes in a recent commentary, “RCEP is another reminder that our Asian trading partners have developed the confidence to work together without the United States.”
All this poses serious challenges for the incoming biden government.
China, meanwhile, hailed the RCEP as a success. “The signing of the RCEP is not only a great achievement in East Asian regional cooperation, but more importantly, the victory of multinationalism and free trade,” said Premier Li Keqiang. Accordingly Chinese state media.
However, Ustad ‘Green’ says the decisive game “Historians say it can be seen back” is less than the 20th century, and the laws regarding data, interaction, digital trade, and where the U.S. is the key player are not the definition of the 21st century. “
“So, we’m not completely out of the game.”