SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (IPS) – Long seen as a means to gain advantage on the grounds of mutual benefit, free trade agreements (FTAs) may increasingly be used. as an emerging Cold War economic weapon.
Rotate to Asia, including China
In November 2009, President Obama Was observed“In an interconnected world, power need not be a zero-sum game… The United States does not seek to contain China.”
His United States Trade Representative (USTR) claims the TPP is based on principles that the United States stands for, such as protecting Intellectual Property (IP) and human rights. While it claims all who accept its principles are welcome to join, China is clearly not among the TPP negotiating nations.
For Washington, this new rivalry with China involves strengthening US alliances with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. In October 2011, the US Congress ratified the Korea-US FTA (KORUS).
With China’s military and economic containment in the US security strategy, the TPP was signed in 2015. Obama emphasize“TPP allows the US – not countries like China – to write the rules of the road in the 21st century.”
Creating a “anyone but the Chinese club” is US engine to establish TPP. But with public sentiment shifting since the presidency of Trump, once loyal Vice President of Obama, now President Biden has not attempted to revive the TPP during his presidential campaign. , or since.
“America’s prosperity and security is being challenged by an economic competition playing out in the broader strategic context… We must work with like-minded allies and partners to ensure that Our principles are in place and our rules are enforced so that our economy thrives,” President Trump noted. national security strategy.
By 2020, the leaders of all four countries are more aligned in their concerns about China’s rise. In November 2020, the navies of all four countries participated in First joint exercise in more than a decade.
‘Defense cooperation’ has also been enhanced through agreements between countries, such as recently Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement same as before Acquisition and Cross-Supply Agreement between Japan and India.
The US security profile in the region has been enhanced by the AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) alliance. Its clear intention is to strengthen the military presence of the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific, with ‘China’s biggest focus’ in all regional security arrangements.
The United States is also linking trade to its national security strategy, especially to contain China, in Africa and Latin America. Like USTR Notes“The Biden administration is conducting a comprehensive review of US trade policy towards China as part of the development of their overall China strategy.”
Her office also stressed, “Resolving the China challenge will require a more comprehensive strategy and systematic approach than the piecemeal approach of the recent past.”
His reflection Interim National Security Strategy Guide, Biden emphasized, “America must renew its enduring advantages…; modernize our military capabilities…; and revive America’s unprecedented network of alliances and partners.” “Increasing competition with China, Russia … is reshaping every aspect of our lives,” he noted.
Biden insists his administration “will make sure that the rules of the international economy don’t lean in favor of the United States. We will enforce existing trade rules and create new ones… This agenda will strengthen our long-term advantage and enable us to gain the upper hand in strategic competition with China or any other country”.
His administration has announced a review of all Trump-era trade negotiations. Expires in 2025, President Clinton Africa Growth and Opportunity Act has enhanced U.S. market access for eligible African countries since 2000.
In April 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed The US-Kenya FTA negotiations will continue. Observers believe that The US-Kenya free trade agreement initiated by Trump in 2020 will help expand the ‘carrot’ US trade and security policies on the continent to counter China.
United States ‘The Monroe Doctrine backyard’, six US FTAs have involved 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries. On June 8, Biden announced a new regional economic partnership to counter China. His speech opened the Summit of the Americas, be censured for ignoring countries deemed friendly to China.
But Biden’s Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity still considered a work in progress. Without even offering the standard tariff exemptions of FTAs, the US initially predicted that it would focus on “like-minded partners”. Although Biden praised his “innovative, integrated new approach”, the responses showed “Weakening” US influence.
Now, five years after Trump pulled out of the TPP, Biden has revived Obama’s China strategy with his own Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. Smug, he can’t help but echo Obama’s TPP boast,”We are writing new rules“.
IPS UN Office
© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service