For years, Beijing has listened to the Obama administration say the 12-nation regional trade deal was a way of bolstering American leadership in Asia.
China was not included in the deal, and President Barack Obama went out of his way to remind the region that this was no accident. TPP allows America – and not countries like China – to write the rules of the road in the 21st Century, which is especially important in a region as dynamic as the Asia-Pacific.
Nor was this ever just about the rules on trade. TPP was a core part of the Obama administration’s strategic “pivot to Asia”. US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said that alongside boosting US exports, it would strengthen Washington’s key relationships in the Asia-Pacific, signal US commitment to the region and promote American values.
“Passing TPP is as important to…
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