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Asia-Pacific trade: opportunities exit alongside challenges

Wednesday,Mar 15, 2017



With U.S president Trump’s decision to withdraw, the long-prepared Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) stranded, which sparks heated debate and discussion over its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, the U.S. exit and its several newly-issued trade policies also arouse people’s concerns. They worry about the advent of broader backlash against free trade and globalization.

As world’s two biggest economies, China and U.S. play the pivotal role in the Asia-Pacific region, and also experience the growing economic interdependence. In the present situation, a Chinese high-level think-tank, the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) held a conference on March 13, discussing the coexisting opportunities and challenges in Asia-Pacific region and looking ahead the prospect of Asia-Pacific trade.

At the conference, Wendy Cutler, Vice-President of Asia Society Police Institute (ASPI), and former American representative at TPP negotiations, shared ASPI’s latest report over the Asia-Pacific trade. Ms Cutler said that regional trade agreements offered the best path forward to liberalize trade, raise standards, and promote broad reforms. All deals should be comprehensive and WTO-consistent, incorporate high standards and enumerate clear accession provisions to encourage greater regional integration.

In light of U.S. withdrawal from TPP, Ms Cutler also gave several suggestions, including advancing high standards, pursuing complementary opportunities for liberalization and rebuilding support for trade amid growing skepticism over globalization.

Other guests also exchanged their views and opinions over TPP and trade in Asia-Pacific region in the conference. Long Yongtu, Chairman of CCG and former Vice-Minister of Commerce of China, highlighted the importance of international trade for economic growth and creating jobs.

Voices of TPP being designed to threaten China are frequently heard, but Long Yongtu refuted that such information is misleading. Just as China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia, China holds an open attitude towards TPP and China is delighted to see its success.

In Long Yongtu’s perspective, TPP needs professional interpretation rather than politicization and overstatement. Further cooperation and conversation should be enhanced to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.(APD)


From APD NEWS, 2017-3-14