U.S. gunboat diplomacy in Asia lacks trade firepower


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Hello from Brussels, most of the attention in the past few days has been on Belarus’ weaponization of immigration on the Polish border and the suspicion that Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to invade Ukraine, not just through proxy invasion. We are convinced that the self-styled “Geopolitical CommitteeIn the process of advancing the autonomy of the opening strategy, everything will be clear within a second.

At the same time, there is obviously a slight Improve In the combative relationship between Britain and the European Union over the Northern Ireland agreement after Brexit.As usual, we mainly leave the Brexit issue to the Financial Times colleagues and their excellent Britain after Brexit communication.But we will notice that in December of last year, trade secrets were predict (It is correct in our opinion, otherwise Britain will not complain now) London surrenders to Brussels every year, and our default belief is that similar things will happen again. Today’s main article focuses on the influence of the Asia-Pacific region. The United States wields a lot of sabers, but it has not done much in terms of trade. Concession waters See how the vaccine is launched.

We hope to hear from you.Send any ideas to [email protected] Or email me [email protected]

America is already drifting in the Pacific

Last week was the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, where the established tradition held that there was more talk and less work.To be fair, especially for the energetic New Zealand host, this time there are some Useful initiative, Including speeding up customs procedures and restricting the import and export of epidemic-related medical supplies.

However, the bigger problem is that although the United States has joined APEC, it has not participated in large-scale trade governance initiatives in the region. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (Gina Raimondo) confirmed yesterday that the Biden administration will not join the Comprehensive Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the foreseeable future. Instead, it will seek a vaguely defined “Robust economic framework“For the Indo-Pacific region.

We are skeptical. No matter what this mythical beast is, it seems hard to imagine that it will be more influential than CPTPP and other reciprocal treaties covering a large number of modern trade issues. If Washington is not prepared to weigh access to its domestic market, which is the temptation to attract countries to make promises in the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (which evolved into CPTPP when Donald Trump withdrew the United States), it is unlikely to get more. return.

The reality is that even though Washington sends traders to Asia readilyThose Asia-Pacific countries (including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand) that see the United States as an economic counterweight to China are losing hope.

If you want to believe that all trade today is a geopolitical cliché, then the Asia-Pacific region is a powerful counterexample. Washington is strengthening its rhetoric, hardware and alliances in the region to protect Taiwan from China. But there is almost no accompanying trade component. The United States, which now wants to join the CPTPP, will also support Taiwan’s own application, shortly after China. but not.

It is no exaggeration to say that after Catherine Dai was seriously behind, the instinctive ally of the United States in the CPTPP was frustrated. Speech on China last month.The U.S. Trade Representative is focused on the Trump administration’s “phase one” agreement with Beijing, these days mainly to establish Washington Cottage industry Tracks China’s monthly purchases of US soybeans, but rarely mentions broader strategies.

China’s CPTPP application is a testing ground for its ability to dominate Asia-Pacific trade governance. Although its internal shift to a “dual circular” economy, it continues to pursue it. The process involves first establishing a working group and then starting appropriate negotiations. The road is long and long: reforming China’s state-owned enterprises and the country’s data localization policies are more obvious obstacles. But these matters, including timing, need to be considered and negotiated.

Beijing’s initial proposal was to join Vietnam under similar conditions as one of the founding members, Vietnam has been derogated many times and the transition period is very long. Countries that are skeptical of China say that trading giants cannot enjoy the same treatment as low-income founding members. “[Beijing] Misunderstood the background of the conditions or allowances granted to countries such as Vietnam,” said a Japanese official. “Most CPTPP members expect higher standards for China. “Another excuse for slow progress is that the group is busy processing Britain’s request to join: a by-product of China’s bid is to make it more difficult for the United Kingdom to join, because the rigor of the process needs to be emphasized.

But there are also some CPTPP countries that sympathize with China, such as Singapore and Malaysia (although the latter has not yet ratified the agreement), they will argue for more generous clauses. A large trading country like China also has a lot of bribes and threats, and it may try to attract others to join in. Even Australia, one of the most skeptical of China, is unwilling to directly reject Beijing’s application.

Now, if skeptics know that the United States will apply soon, they may be bolder to negotiate and insist on reaching a difficult agreement before the cavalry arrives—perhaps that China does not follow it seriously, but simply refuses to establish a working group. . If late applicants can demonstrate compliance, there is no provision prohibiting them from jumping in line. “It is possible that some members are not allowed to start negotiations with China at all,” said an official from a CPTPP country. “But time is limited, and the United States needs to act fast.” In fact, it did not move at all.

It is unclear whether China can meet the conditions for joining the CPTPP. But at least it has inserted itself into another edifice of the Asian trade architecture, and the United States has some touts about its worker-centered trade policy and the Indo-Pacific framework. Individual applications will affect the dynamics of the grouping.Already joined Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, It starts at initiative The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Beijing also apply for membership Digital Economy Cooperation Agreement (Depa), New Zealand-Chile-Singapore Technology Treaty. Like CPTPP, there are some doubts that China can comply with its requirements, but like CPTPP, its stated intention is sufficient to dominate the dialogue.

We have always been a little skeptical that trade and foreign policy are generally aligned, even in these geopolitical days, or that they often reinforce each other. But even in its own right, CPTPP is an important sign of regional integration, and it is a very big thing to leave an American hole in it. The cavalry will not come soon. The US allies in the CPTPP will have to deal with China’s threats and American rhetoric alone.

Concession waters

No one would say that the vaccine supply chain is functioning well. There are many obstacles, mainly — in our view — the fact that there is not enough money to flow to disadvantaged groups in poorer countries.

However, as shown in the figure below, billions of vaccines have been delivered. No matter what difficulties are encountered, this is an extraordinary achievement in such a short period of time. Claire Jones

More about CPTPP. British Asia-Pacific Trade Commissioner Natalie Black (Natalie Black), Tell Nikkei Asia ($) Negotiations on the UK’s application to join the partnership “progress very rapidly”,

this WTO Release its annual world trade report later today.Watch the press conference hereAt the same time, the WTO’s merchandise trade barometer shows Slower growth Interest rates before the pandemic after a sharp rebound from the Covid-19 crisis.

India already Refused WTO text Fisheries Agreement.

Megan Green of Harvard Kennedy School argued in the Financial Times that Deglobalization Narrate Overdone.

European Reform Center Warned Data exchange Disputes between the European Union and the United Kingdom are threatened by legal proceedings or the United Kingdom’s decision to diverge on data protection policies. Alan Beatty and Francesca Regalado

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