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

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid