Pacific free trade treaty signed, covering 40% of the world economy
Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After five years of negotiations, the United States signed the a Pacific free trade treaty (TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership) yesterday in Atlanta. The trade agreement involves a total of 12 nations in the region, which together account for 40% of the world economy. Described as "a normal evolution of the world economic relations", the agreement is seen as a counter-balance to the presence and influence of China in the Asia-Pacific region.
The PPT provides for the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers and the adaptation of commercial standards in a wide area of Asia-Pacific. The text provides that the US economy is linked to that of 11 other countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The partners will cooperate also in terms of currencies, a response to the devaluation of the yuan ordered by Beijing.
If, from the strategic point of view this is a victory for the United States, from the economical point of view is one of the major steps forward for Japan. In this way, in fact, industrial production in Japan will have a "fast-track" in relation to other Member States.
US President Obama has welcomed the signing: "I spent every day of my presidency to fight to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class. When more than 95% of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can't let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. "We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment".
The Chinese government has responded rather cautiously. The Ministry of Commerce issued a statement in which he defines the TPP "a key agreement for the region. China hopes that this agreement will help the economies of the countries involved and contribute to the growth of investment and production. " But the statement added: "We have to remember that the rules for international trade are set by the WTO, not by countries that agree among themselves."
Apart from China, the Treaty has been harshly contested by several anti-globalization movements that define "massacre of employment for member countries." The protesters’ fear is that the removal of barriers will foment the hiring of low-paid workers from the least developed areas.