Obama leaves fate of TPP to Trump – Vietnam’s economy seen as casualty

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tpp-graphUS President Barack Obama’s administration has suspended its efforts to win congressional approval for his Asian free-trade deal agreement of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, saying that TPP’s fate was now up to Trump and Republican lawmakers.

Since Trump in his election campaign was heavily opposing the TPP, this means that the deal is highly likely getting buried.

Trump called the TPP a “disaster” and “a rape of our country” that would send more jobs overseas. His anti-free-trade message and pledges to stem the tide of imported goods from China and Mexico won him massive support among blue-collar workers in the industrial heartland states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, helping to swing the election his way.

The TPP agreement, negotiated for more than five years and signed in October 2015, was aimed at reducing trade barriers erected by some of the fastest growing economies in Asia. The TPP would have covered 40 per cent of the global economy and create a trade zone worth about $28 trillion among 12 countries that include the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam and Mexico and boosting ties with US allies in the Southeast and East Asia region in the face of China’s rising influence.

Scrapping the TPP would be a benefit for China since it would readily fill the void. China has proposed the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which some observers see as competitors to the TPP.

One casualty of a buried TPP is certainly Vietnam, whose manufacturing and exports-led economy is widely regarded as the biggest potential beneficiary of such a pact. The country would have massively benefited from tariff-free trade with TPP members and from foreign direct investment in its industries by multinationals from the TPP zone.

However, Vietnam’s Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh said that the country had “other options” besides the TPP and will still remain “competitive and motivated.”

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US President Barack Obama's administration has suspended its efforts to win congressional approval for his Asian free-trade deal agreement of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, saying that TPP's fate was now up to Trump and Republican lawmakers. Since Trump in his election campaign was heavily opposing the TPP, this means that the deal is highly likely getting buried. Trump called the TPP a "disaster" and "a rape of our country" that would send more jobs overseas. His anti-free-trade message and pledges to stem the tide of imported goods from China and Mexico won him...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

tpp-graphUS President Barack Obama’s administration has suspended its efforts to win congressional approval for his Asian free-trade deal agreement of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, saying that TPP’s fate was now up to Trump and Republican lawmakers.

Since Trump in his election campaign was heavily opposing the TPP, this means that the deal is highly likely getting buried.

Trump called the TPP a “disaster” and “a rape of our country” that would send more jobs overseas. His anti-free-trade message and pledges to stem the tide of imported goods from China and Mexico won him massive support among blue-collar workers in the industrial heartland states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, helping to swing the election his way.

The TPP agreement, negotiated for more than five years and signed in October 2015, was aimed at reducing trade barriers erected by some of the fastest growing economies in Asia. The TPP would have covered 40 per cent of the global economy and create a trade zone worth about $28 trillion among 12 countries that include the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam and Mexico and boosting ties with US allies in the Southeast and East Asia region in the face of China’s rising influence.

Scrapping the TPP would be a benefit for China since it would readily fill the void. China has proposed the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which some observers see as competitors to the TPP.

One casualty of a buried TPP is certainly Vietnam, whose manufacturing and exports-led economy is widely regarded as the biggest potential beneficiary of such a pact. The country would have massively benefited from tariff-free trade with TPP members and from foreign direct investment in its industries by multinationals from the TPP zone.

However, Vietnam’s Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh said that the country had “other options” besides the TPP and will still remain “competitive and motivated.”

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