Thursday, October 21, 2021

The fable of the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact


The story of trading in our world is a continuous tale of successes and failures, even the setups to facilitate it are usually devised to bring happily rich results.

Like all fables, there are lessons to be learned. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) began in 2005 as an extension of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) signed by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.

In 2008, additional countries for the Comprehensive Agreement joined the discussion, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam, allowing the negotiating countries until a new agreement was reached on 4 February. Brought up at 12. 2016.

Under former US President Donald Trump, the United States of America was withdrawn in January 2017. The latest US-less iteration has been named the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) involving 11 countries.

Given that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is ready and willing to facilitate legitimate ease of trade, some may in any event inquire about the motive for creating a new economic circle?

world trade organization logo
The Headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is seen in Geneva, Switzerland on December 11, 2019. (Robert Hadill/Getty Images)

What could be the ambiguous rationale for CPTPP? Since its formation in 1995, the goal of the WTO has been to help producers of goods and services, international exporters and importers to conduct their business smoothly and constructively.

In fact the WTO has already achieved these goals? Certainly, its membership of 164 countries covering 96 percent of all trade would suggest a resounding “yes.”

Given China’s recent interest in joining the CPTPP, the emerging question is: has the WTO ever opened its doors to admit member states that were reluctant to comply with its guidelines, when of the WTO to compel other Member States (even those complying with WTO rules for dispute resolution) unless it is in their own interests, and who would be willing to Abuse the rules?

All current members of the CPTPP are fully aware of the rap sheet of the People’s Republic of China.

This aspiring member bothers them all, but no nation wants to publicly point it out as a potential alien. All member countries are members of the WTO, but no member state has dared to directly accuse China of failing to comply with WTO guidelines, including the United States. While Australia itself has been “burnt” by Beijing over commodities such as barley, wine, seafood and coal.

So far, countries have avoided a direct confrontation with an economically growing China. The only person who dared to sharply criticize China was former US President Donald Trump, who withdrew the United States from the then TPP.

Yug Times Photos
Yug Times Photos
Bottles of Australian wine are displayed at a supermarket in Hangzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang province on November 27, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

None of the CPTPP countries currently want to engage in direct war with China. This is strange; It does not have any message. But even trade relations matter – rules also matter, and countries are now feeling, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recklessly handled a devastating global pandemic, trust and respect. Relationships matter the most.

Of course, China could create a new trade zone on its own and invite its closest allies such as North Korea, Iran, Cuba and now Afghanistan to create its own economic circle and play in an entirely new world. Swing, such as its activities in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wouldn’t this be nirvana for Beijing?

However, Beijing does not want to be seen in isolation from the good people, reliable movers and shakers.

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The CCP intends to enter the CPTPP, noting that it has already gained enormous profits from the WTO, while knowingly failing to comply with its rules; It is not willing to give up the opportunity to enter the CPTPP.

Among the CPTPP member states, Singapore and Malaysia have already welcomed China’s entry. It is also believed that New Zealand will accept it, Canada will follow it, and the trio of Central and South American countries will not strongly oppose it. Vietnam will not support it but will not strongly or openly oppose it. Japan will oppose it indirectly and only Australia will openly oppose it.

Australia’s reason for opposing Beijing’s merger should not be based on current trade friction with China, but on the fact that China has never properly implemented WTO rules.

Given this, Australia has enough reasons to give a negative vote to the CPTPP to “test” China and to veto China from joining and weakening the CPTPP’s rules.

The CPTPP should not be a purely economic vehicle that fails to consider the importance of civilizational development in the region and the world. Acceptance and respect for human rights in a political and legal system that protects them should be considered a prerequisite. With this condition, China can be excluded, quite naturally and without fanfare.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has also applied to join the trade agreement, which should be encouraged and promoted. High entry limits do not hinder Taiwan. Taiwan meets the conditions regardless of economic, political, social and cultural issues. Taiwan’s accession may also deter China, and it may be beneficial to prevent China’s accession and prevent future erosion and destruction of the CPTPP.

Yug Times Photos
Yug Times Photos
The national flag of Taiwan unfurls near Taipei 101 at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei on October 7, 2012. (Mandy Cheng/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition, US President Joe Biden has indicated a willingness to ally with allies, so Australia should consider inviting the United States to rejoin, surfing the wave of goodwill created by AUKUS. . The participation of the United States will amplify the voices of the democracies involved.

Australia is currently looking to increase its strength in the organisation, and is backed by a major supporter, Japan – which shares its interests. There is no doubt that they benefit other members and the organization itself. This sensible order of priority enriches current members and protects their interests, making it easier for Taiwan and the United States to join.

For a number of reasons that don’t even require a declaration, should any idea of ​​China getting involved fall far down the line of priority, its option should be kept quietly as an isolated possibility.

Far better than being horribly bitten at the end as the helpless frog in Aesop’s fable, who wondered why the scorpion had stung him (when the frog gave him a ride across the river): “It’s because Because I’m a scorpion, that’s what I do.”

It’s far better to go to the task of keeping members new to the CPTPP alert and alert than to get stung afterwards and wonder why.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Sophie York


Sophie York is a barrister, university law lecturer, speaker, author and mother of four. In other roles, York is a member of the Royal Australian Navy Legal Reserve Panel and a lecturer in jurisprudence at the University of Sydney.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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