The Future Of The Trans Pacific Partnership Under The New US Administration

The new US president plans to scrap the Pacific trade deal but both businesses and agricultural groups are lobbying the transition team to salvage the trade deal between Asian countries and the US. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation Pacific Rim accord was negotiated under the Obama administration and business groups are arguing that the present administration can make changes to the trade deal and write new rules for the Asian-Pacific region.

Supporters of the Trans Pacific Partnership say that it is commercially and strategically critical because it will convince Asian nations that the US wants to maintain its leadership in the region and it won’t relinquish economic power to China which is not a part of the trade pact. Beijing has a mixed response to TPP because it initially perceived that the plan was meant to isolate China; however, Beijing is now expressing interest to join the trade deal.

The nation-members of TPP include some of the important partner countries of the US like Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada. The goal of TPP is to set trading rules in Asia which the TPP member countries believe China will eventually follow. Among those that are urging the new administration to take a second look at the trade deal includes the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, American Farm Bureau and a number of other companies that include FedEx.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal, the new US president said that he wanted to reset trade with China although he didn’t comment about the TPP. He said that so far everything is under negotiation since their biggest problem is the trade imbalance with China. There are instances when agreements entered into by a previous administration are considered by the new administration with changes to the original deal. Another option is a new trade pact but with a different name.

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