News / Asia

Japan Joins Asia-Americas Trade Talks

Japan Joining Asia-Americas Trade Talks Further Isolates Chinai
X
March 21, 2013 11:32 AM
Japan's decision to join ongoing trade talks between Asia and North and South America leaves only China among the region's large economies outside the deal to expand markets. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

Japan Joining Asia-Americas Trade Talks Further Isolates China

— Japan's decision to join ongoing trade talks between Asia and North and South America leaves only China among the region's large economies outside the deal to expand markets.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a framework for future prosperity in the Asia Pacific.

"Our participation is not just for the benefit of Japan's economy, but rather, for Japan and our allies and the United States to create a new economic sphere," he said.

Japan is joining ongoing trade talks between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore.

Most noticeably absent from that group is China, which is already concerned about expanding U.S. commercial, diplomatic, and military influence in the region.

Washington understands China's concerns and is working hard to present the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a trade deal, says Cato Institute analyst Justin Logan.

"It's also very, very much about the rebalancing.  It's very, very much about China. It's very, very much about creating a group of countries who get together and talk and have shared perceptions of shared difficulties," said Logan.

Territorial claims

Especially difficulties in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, China, Brunei, and Malaysia have competing territorial claims. 

"When you sign trade deals, a lot of the time it isn't about trade," said American University professor Pek Koon Heng. "It's about political partnership.  So Vietnam sees the TPP as doing both things and putting the Americans next to the Vietnamese in dealing with the Chinese."

Heng says the trade talks help soften the so-called U.S. "pivot" to Asia.

"There is concern that the pivot is just putting too much focus on the military dimension of what the U.S. wants to do.  And so TPP is a necessary and much-welcome and very important dimension of the rebalance," she said.

China

U.S. officials say China is welcome to join the trade deal if it meets political and economic requirements.  Instead, China is turning inward, according to U.S. business leader Calman Cohen.

"China seems to be closing its economy rather than further opening its economy," said Cohen. He adds that Chinese subsidies discourage greater trade.

"If there is not a reversal in course by China, it will not get the level of investment that it has over recent years, and you will see a second guessing by companies around the world whether they should place so much emphasis on the China market," he said.

But domestic concerns are also a challenge for Prime Minister Abe's push to join the trade pact - as he moves to reduce protections for Japanese agricultural and textile firms.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid