The onus is on Trump to make the correct pivot to Asia

Posted November 20, 2016

The agreement suggests they will cooperate in sending a message to Trump to reverse his position on the TPP as they join other Pacific Rim leaders at a two-day summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum starting Saturday in the Peruvian capital.

"We suspect that Donald Trump will begin by using the threat of large tariffs and withdrawal from NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) as a bargaining chip in attempts to negotiate better trade deals for the USA", said the analysts.

China wants to create a level playing field for foreign and local companies so that they can share in the Asian country's growth, Xi said in a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Lima.

The China-proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) will be in focus during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru from November 19-20 even as the USA officially gives up on a rival trade deal, the TPP.

If the TPP were to go sour, he said, Southeast Asia would likely look to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asean-focused proposed free trade agreement that, unlike the TPP, would include cooperation with China. Trump has blamed China for taking and has said he will instruct his Treasury secretary to label the country a currency manipulator.

Speaking during the annual Defense One summit in Washington DC, the Commander of US Pacific Command sought to reassure allies in the Asia-Pacific region that their security is integral to that of the US.

"I think at the minute they will sit on it and wait and see what the new USA administration looks like after a year or a couple of years", Bollard said.

Recently, outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama has decided, though unwillingly, to let his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, decide the fate of the TPP.

"How you campaign isn't always the same as how you govern", he told a townhall meeting of young Latin Americans in Lima, defending democracy even as he admitted it can be "frustrating".

The meeting of APEC, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of the world's population and almost 60pc of the global economy, is US President Barack Obama's last foreign visit before handing over to Trump on Jan 20.

"I expect that President Obama will ask his colleagues to give the next administration ample time to shape its agenda", she added.

He said there was only one country - China - that could fill the breach if the USA retreats from Asia.

Edward Wrong is a geopolitical analyst who has held positions at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the OSCE, and the EU Delegation to the United States.

It is unclear whether there is any future for the arduously negotiated TPP.

World business leaders gathered on the sidelines of the summit bemoaned TPP's "grim prospects" and urged governments to pour resources into FTAAP and set a concrete timeline, said Sun Xiao, an official with the China Chamber of International Commerce. If they are able to wait out the initial phase of the Trump administration, they may find the President-elect to be more flexible once he is acclimated to the realities of his office, and his staff are more settled in their roles.

Froman said that RCEP would not have labour and environmental protections that are written into TPP.