The option of a trans-Pacific free trade agreement was promoted at the time by the former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, but abandoned by Donald Trump.
A few days after signing the world’s most important trade agreement in terms of gross domestic product, China admits joining the agreement.
The purpose of this agreement, when suggested by Barack Obama, would be to counter the growing increase of China’s influence in Asia. However, the new version of the global transpacific partnership (CPTPP), signed by Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, was abandoned by Donald Trump in January 2017, stating that multilateral agreements were “unfavorable” for the country.
Yesterday, the Chinese President Xi Jinping declared an interest in joining the agreement. Addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (Apec) meeting, organized by Malaysia, Xi stated that its members should “continue to promote regional economic cooperation and soon establish an Asia-Pacific free trade zone” .
Cited by state media, Xi admitted to “fully join” the CPTPP. Donald Trump also participated in the APEC virtual summit, but the fact that he has not participated in the summit since 2017 was seen by Asian countries as a lack of interest.
Xi Jinping’s statements come just days after China and 14 other Asian and Pacific countries signed a trade agreement promoted by Beijing to form a gigantic free trade zone.
According to analysts, these Global Economic Regional Partnership (RCEP) is the most important trade agreement in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), and covers more than two billion inhabitants.
This agreement, whose members represent 30% of world GDP and which excludes the United States, was considered an important success for China, at a time when the US is withdrawing.
Deborah Elms, a specialist in international trade based in Singapore, considered that if China joins the CPTPP, other countries may choose the same decision.
“If Xi’s declaration of interests is made in the coming weeks or months, it will certainly raise many questions from current members, potential members and others who do not think at all to join the CPTPP,” he said, quoted by AFP news agency .
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