CPTPP: Trump abandoned this giant trade deal. Now China wants
The CPTPP is an 11-country free trade pact that entered into force in December 2018 and includes Mexico, Australia, Canada and Singapore. It succeeded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the United States pulled out under former President Donald Trump in 2017.
The TPP was negotiated under former US President Barack Obama, who wanted to offset China’s growing weight in the region by imposing US-backed labor, environmental and patent protections.
Chinese authorities on Friday stimulated the idea of involvement in the CPTPP. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called him “a contributor to promoting regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as economic recovery, trade development and the growth of investments after the pandemic “, during a press conference.
The agreement lowers tariffs among participants, standardizes regulations in areas such as food safety and determines levels of market access for goods and services, such as visa rules for business travelers, which may vary from member to member.
But the way forward may not be easy for China, especially since relations between the country and CPTPP member country Australia is getting worse.
Australian coal, wine, barley and beef have all already been affected by trade tensions with China, and experts say the defense deal has further upset Beijing.
During Friday’s press conference, Zhao, the spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, said China’s efforts to join the CPTPP had “nothing to do with the United States’ trilateral agreements, UK and Australia “.
“[China] pushing for economic cooperation and regional integration while the US, UK and Australia push for war and destruction, ”he added.
Even if China were allowed to join the CPTPP, the country might find some aspects of the deal difficult, said Alex Capri, a researcher at the Hinrich Foundation. He highlighted “e-commerce and data standards,” but said China may be able to find loopholes.
“Keep in mind that when the United States pulled out, around 20 provisions dealing with data privacy, intellectual property protection, and other digital standards were essentially suspended,” Capri said. added.
– Hanna Ziady, Ben Westcott and the Beijing office of CNN contributed to this report.