A spat between the world’s most populous countries is holding up a pan-Asian trade agreement encompassing nearly a third of all global trade.
It’s a good guess that the new global economic system will give overt political considerations greater weight than its predecessor. Countries will link trade benefits and penalties to their political agendas.
If the U.S.-China trade war continues or worsens ASEAN countries will also experience a bumpy ride.
Japan imposed export restrictions on three key chemical materials upon which South Korea is highly dependent for the production of semiconductors. With other actions, that were viewed by South Korea as a “declaration of economic war”.
Tensions between Japan and South Korea have been escalating since July 1. Japan has since placed restrictions on three chemicals critical to South Korea’s tech industry. Uncertainty exists within ongoing negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
As the US and Japan intensify trade negotiations, the push for a quick “mini-deal” on agriculture and autos will have far-reaching impact.
While India has tactfully used the platform to diplomatically isolate Pakistan, it must also tap into BIMSTEC’s immense potential for development, connectivity and trade in the region.
Chinese proposals for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Free Trade Area put forth in 2010 were not received enthusiastically by the members. In 2018, President Xi Jinping again called for the need to begin feasibility studies on the FTA, revealing the lack of progress on this issue.
After sponsoring juntas until well into the 1990s, the US went after Central and South America with “free trade” deals before once again working with extremists.
China’s expansion in Latin America of its Belt and Road initiative to build ports and other trade-related facilities is stirring alarm in Washington over Beijing’s ambitions in a region that American leaders since the 19th century have seen as off-limits to other powers.
Now that the Trump administration has revamped the North American Free Trade Agreement, it is taking a look at kicking key countries out of its sister pact, the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
The US-Africa Strategy seeks to re-position the US and bring it to par with China and Russia.
Indonesia could delay signing a planned free trade deal with Australia if Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, political analysts suggest, as the move would provoke deep anger in the lead up to the Muslim nation’s presidential election.
Mauritius is the first African country that launched the FTA negotiations with China; MoU over the Belt and Road Initiatives is under negotiation.
Trade negotiations have been increasingly used as a political tool.
India is hopeful that a bilateral trade agreement with the country could open the doors wider to the entire continent.
In an accentuated anti-immigrant context of clear criminalization of Central Americans and Mexicans without migratory documents in their attempt to enter the US, measures on the separation of thousands of families (most of them from Central America) are the new face of the racist nationalism of the American government and its current president.
China’s preferred model of free trade has already won a favoured position in developing countries vis-a-vis the US model.
Worried about the future of global trade, the European Union is seeking to negotiate as many free trade agreements as it can.
The revived TPP 11 operates as a significant alternative to China’s approach, embodied in the Belt and Road Initiative.