Asia Pacific Region International trade administration work is the center of this effort it`s grounded in the conviction that economic security is National security. Beyond expanding prosperity and creating jobs trade and investment are levers to advance economic and strategic priorities and keep our nation secure from safeguarding supply chains to promoting high standards.
Asia Pacific Region
This is especially true in the Indo-Pacific a dynamic region that three out of every five people call home, poised to drive such a significant percentage of global economic growth in the coming years.
Everyone knows very well that the region is far from a monolith the priorities and concerns aren`t always the same in Tokyo as they are in Jakarta. The United States proudly identifies as an Indo-Pacific nation. what unities the countries of the Pacific in our mind is a distinct forward-looking ambition and the immense potential that we have to fulfill that ambition.
The US strategy in the region embraces an affirmative agenda focused on investing in our strengths at home. Aligning with like-minded allies and partners and competing to protect US interests. The US administration is committed to bolstering an open inclusive international system.
a cornerstone of our economic engagement in the region is the Indo-Pacific economic framework for prosperity. It is grounded in a shared commitment to a free, fair, open, interconnected, resilient secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
Indo-Pacific a dynamic region US-Japan ties are closer than ever. Working through the Japan economic policy consultative committee that`s a mouthful so we call it the two plus two as well as the Japan-US commercial and industrial partnership.
It has been five years since President Trump declared the US withdrawal from the TPP in 2017. In these five years, the US-China conflict has become fixed. The US and China have imposed additional tariffs which are still in place. The most significant change that occurred in Asia was the strengthing of economic relations between China and ASEAN. The China ASEAN linkage level increased significantly from 1.39 in 2011 to 1.90 in 2021.
Indo-Pacific is a dynamic region The US ASEAN linkage declined from 0.80 to 0.71. Japan’s ASEAN also declined from 2.32 to 1.99. The economic integration through various frameworks without the US has also made progress during the early months of 2022 RCEP came into effect in regions accounting for approximately 30 percent of the world`s GDP and the population is now covered by a single set of rules in areas such as rules of origin, customs procedures, intellectual property right, and e-commerce. Discussions on the CPTPP are moving negotiations with the UK are progressing and discussions on market access are underway.
Tawain and China applied for membership in September 2021 and Ecuador also applied in December south Korea is also preparing its domestic procedures for application and many other countries have expressed interest in joining.
In a survey by ICS prominent Singaporean think tank titled The State of Southeast Asia 2022. According to the survey report, 76.7 percent of experts from ASEAN countries said that China is the most economically influential power in the ASEAN region. However, only 30 percent said they welcome that influence.
of course, China has a vision for the future of the economic order in the region. China is always in the middle of the area and cares a lot about the development of the region however it does not mean that China has innovative designs for this order. China prefers to keep the status quo largely while incremental Improvements along with other regional partners. based on w-2 rules, china is also pleased to establish closer trade relations with its neighbors either through bilateral or regional initiatives.
THE CPTPP is more Asia-Pacific than an asset because it has some members from the other side of the Pacific. China is applying to join the CPTPP which should be a real sending off alarm bells not because China should be contained or because this has anything to do with geopolitics just in terms of rule-making
The US thinks that it had these tremendously powerful ideas it wanted to promote in TPP and according to China is going to have very different views on those rules.
However, at some point, it is going to be difficult for countries like Singapore. So according to my assessment people in Washington should be focused on that and realize that`s a real possibility.