TPP Without US: Will China Step in to Replace Washington in the Agreement?

© AFP 2022 / Timothy A. CLARYA delegate hoists and anti-TPP sign on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016
A delegate hoists and anti-TPP sign on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The full-fledged agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is scarcely possible without the United States. However, if China took the vacant place in the deal it could be viable, said financial analyst Clemente Ruiz Duran.

A delegate hoists and anti-TPP sign on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Criticism of the TTP free trade deal was one of the cornerstones of Donald Trump’s electoral campaign.

Recently, the newly elected United States president released a video outlining his plans for his first 100 days in the Oval Office. In particular, Trump confirmed that he is going to pull out of the TPP deal, which he described as a "potential disaster" for the US.

"If the US withdrew then China could join the deal. I think then Beijing would not miss this opportunity to fill in the void," Clemente Ruiz Duran, a financial analyst and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, suggested in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The TPP agreement has been considered one of the main foreign policy achievements by incumbent Barack Obama’s administration.

The negotiations were finalized in October and must now be ratified by all 12 signatories within the next two years.

A military honor guard prepares for U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert's visit with Commander in Chief of the China's navy Adm. Wu Shengli - Sputnik International
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The parties to the deal are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, and comprise approximately 40 percent of world GDP.

According to Ruiz Duran, the TPP would create an opportunity for Latin American countries to increase trade with Asian countries.

In turn, "the agreement would give Asian countries a broader access to the US market via Latin America," he said.

The expert warned of premature conclusions on the future of TPP, based only on Trump’s statements.

"It’s too early for conclusions now. The situation resembles a game of chess. The figures are still moving. The game goes on until it’s lost," Ruiz Duran said.

He noted that there will be new conditions if China decides to replace the US in the deal.

"But even if the TTP collapsed there would be new alliances and new agreements, including with China," he said.

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