Before a March 14-15 meeting in Chile planned to review next steps after US withdrawal from the TPP, other negotiating partners – plus China, Korea and Colombia – shared views on future possibilities.
Shujiro Urata, a fellow of the Japan Centre for Economic Research and a former economist at the World Bank, said on February 28 that China has been unable to “contribute constructively” to the past five years’ Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks and would be unable to accept some key TPP chapters.
The British Brexit debate, and the aftermath of Trump’s election, are bringing out widely contrasting views of China as a business partner. Some are hopelessly naive.
US Congressional committee claims China “violates the spirit and the letter of its international trade obligations”
A US Congressional committee prepared a report before the November 8 elections savagely attacking China’s good faith as a trading partner.
Theresa May keeps insisting “Brexit means Brexit”. But no-one in Britain can agree what Brexit means, how long it’ll take to get there or what Britain’s trade policy will be once it’s out of the EU.
The US Administration admitted on November 11 it no longer expected Congressional ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the Obama Presidency. President-elect Trump has already announced abandoning the deal will be among his first acts after his January 20 inauguration.
I simply don’t buy US lobbyists’ conviction the TPP will get ratified this year. Shouldn’t they abandon the attempt?
Why is the TPP (and with it the TTIP and the TiSA) so close to death?
Though possibly temporary, the May 12 US Senate rejection of a proposal to speed up approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also imperilled progress on other key trade issues – such as renewing of the AGOA programme, which expires on September 30. By late May 13, Senate deals seemed to offer greater likelihood of progress.
China will accelerate talks over free trade areas, said its Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng on March 8.
The US President’s Trade Agenda released on March 4 says “in 2015, [the US] will conclude negotiations with TPP countries.” But the day before, Orrin Hatch, the Republican chairing the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Congressional discussions on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – a legal procedure designed to speed its ratification – are “kind of stuck.”
China and Australia announced in mid-November that a free trade agreement had been initialled. Negotiations started in May 2005. The Australian Prime Minster’s office said it expected the two countries’ heads of government to sign a formal agreement in 2015 – but gave no hint of the likely timeframe for ratification.
In addition to its deal with Australia, in early November, Korea announced it had initialled an FTA with China, though said it would not release details until a provisional signature – which it expected in early 2015. It had signed an FTA with Canada in September, and announced agreement on an FTA with New Zealand in November. In December, it announced agreement on an FTA with Vietnam, and continues to negotiate with Japan and China on a three-way FTA. Its agreements with New Zealand and Vietnam need to be formally signed, then ratified, during 2015.
Fijian garment makers’ special duty free access to Australia expired on December 31, to be replaced by their joining least-developed countries in an overall duty-free programme.
China’s November 11 call for a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) seems to add yet another grandiose trade plan doomed for oblivion to a puzzling set of projects which all miss the obvious: the agreements traders and consumers actually want.