Obama-era trade agreement, dropped by Trump, interests China

BEIJING — An agreement signed 66 months ago by twelve countries, including the United States, might have originally been about trade but more than likely was far more valuable as a geopolitical move to give the U.S. a leg up on China in the Asian-Pacific region.

Originally known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and negotiated by the Obama Administration, former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from the pact which includes other major trading partners like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Vietnam, arguing it would kill jobs in the U.S. while wreaking havoc on the economy.

The real reason the U.S. wanted to join the deal may have been more about making the Chinese economy less competitive and its leadership less likely to write trade rules in the region – thus providing pressure for the Chinese to reform portions of their economy.

Now, however, with President Biden saying the U.S. needs a major overhaul in the agreement before the country is ready to join again, Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced China’s intent on joining the pact — effectively locking America out of the private clubhouse.

The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s Commerce Ministry submitted their application for inclusion in the pact, now known as the CPTPP or Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The latest by the Chinese appears to be in response to President Biden’s announcement of a new security agreement with Australia and the United Kingdom in the region.

Despite all the “saber-rattling”, the U.S. and China continue to abide by the pledges each made in a Phase One Trade agreement whereby the Chinese agreed to increase their purchase of agricultural commodities through the end of February 2022.

(SOURCE: All Ag News)

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