China is considering joining the Pacific Trade Pact, which the United States has rejected.
China’s Commerce Ministry stated on Thursday that it had submitted an application to join a Pacific trade deal aimed in part at countering its own clout.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Deal for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), originally known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is a trade agreement that brings together 11 Pacific-bound countries to construct one of the world’s largest free-trade zones.
In January 2018, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam signed the CPTPP, which went into effect in December.
The treaty requires unanimous approval from each of the 11 member governments, making China’s participation in it questionable. Several of them have poor relations with Beijing over territory issues, while others are concerned about Beijing’s growing military and economic power.
China’s desire to join the CPTPP is nothing new. President Xi Jinping indicated interest in November 2020, according to Kyodo News, while China recently completed a separate free trade agreement known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Some CPTPP countries, including as Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, are already members of the RCEP, which is the world’s largest trading bloc.
Wang Wentao, China’s commerce minister, reportedly spoke with Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s trade minister, over the phone to discuss the necessary procedures. China will have to comply with high-standard norms before entering membership negotiations, according to Japan.
It’s an ironic move on China’s part to seek membership in a trade bloc that was created to resist its influence. Its bid to join, on the other hand, can be interpreted as a tactic to avoid being isolated in the area by the US.
During previous President Barack Obama’s administration, the United States was initially committed to joining the CPTPP. Because of Trump’s strong campaigning against international trade treaties that he claims disadvantaged American workers and businesses, his election in November 2016 put an end to any chance of the United States joining the CPTPP.
One of Trump’s first executive acts after taking office was to pull the US out of the agreement.
President Joe Biden has not stated whether he plans to join the CPTPP, but since taking office, he has made competition with China the focal point of his foreign policy. For the first time, Biden spoke with Xi last week, discussing places where their interests align and “areas where our interests, beliefs, etc. Brief News from Washington Newsday.