Saturday, December 21, 2013


The TPP has been envisioned as "a high-standard, comprehensive and forward-looking trade agreement that aims to address the challenges of the modern economy."Termed as "the agreement of the 21st century" by its proponents, the TPP is very ambitious. When negotiations have concluded,modern lighting it could potentially create a free-trade bloc that will comprise some 40 percent of the global economy, according to leading economists.It aims to reduce tariffs on goods and services to close to zero among disparate economies, and address issues beyond traditional trade and investment, such as labor and environment standards, intellectual property and competitive advantage of state-owned enterprises.As the leading drive force for the negotiation, the United States has insisted on addressing all these so-called 21st century issues, and asked its TPP partners to commit themselves to a high- standard agreement.However, different economic interests and diverse levels of economic growth inevitably make the negotiations very difficult from the very start.Given the complexity of the pact and the political pressure governments face in winning domestic approval, most analysts had long viewed the goal of cutting a deal by the end of this year as unrealistic. They predict that hard haggling lie ahead even in late January next year.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Sarah Tong, senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute of National University of Singapore, compared TPP with Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP), the free trade pact among 10 ASEAN countries and its FTA partners of Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand to be concluded by the end of 2015.She noted that the RCEP comes to economies in the Asia-Pacific region as something more natural and something easier to understand, which offers members tangible benefits in such spheres as supply chains and regional economic integration.As economies in the region have achieved a lot in bilateral trade pacts and regional economic integration, what they need to do is further integration, namely to add all things up and, in the process, address the inconsistencies, she said.By comparison, TPP seems to have taken a top-down approach, in which objectives are set first, then deduction is performed to leave out what is unattainable at the moment or allow members to opt out of some of their obligations. Therefore, TPP faces much greater difficulties,nitrogen generator & inflator machine she added.To John Franklin Copper, professor emeritus of international studies at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee, TPP differs from other trade arrangements in that it aims at fair trade or management of trade, instead of merely dealing with free trade."The TPP seems to be trying to regulate trade, and more regulate financial transactions and things that are connected to trade somehow."

TPP is widely believed the economic pillar of U.S. President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia, which, with its pronounced military presence in the region, has led to increased suspicion over its intention. Some western media put it more bluntly as "having the political purpose of countering the growing influence of China."Lisa Brandt, trade policy analyst at the European Center for International Political Economy, said in an article that TPP would have economic benefits. But it is also underpinned by geopolitical ambitions."The United States is keen to promote stability in the region and establish a set of rules that can serve as a future template for international economic relations."Her views were echoed by Professor Copper, who noted that TPP is viewed by some as part of the Asian pivot."Since the Asian pivot is really a strategic idea, of the military thought. It means it's missing the economic aspect to it. And the TPP is the economic side..amino resin.Some said that the Asian pivot will not work without TPP."However, Many Asian economies are reluctant to choose sides between major powers in the region. When geopolitical consideration outweighs economic reality, TPP would lose appeal to its potential members. As Professor Copper noted, "Asians do not think of balance of power as the United States do...They are thinking of it more in economic terms than military power relations."

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