21:46 GMT22 October 2020
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    US President-elect Donald Trump by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement would boost China and undermine American influence in the region, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — “Withdrawing from TPP would be a huge gift to China in terms of damaging the US role in the region,” Froman stated on Friday. “I can’t understand why any president or administration would… say it's better that China set the rules for this region rather than the US.”

    Trump has vowed to withdraw the United States from the TPP deal within the first 100 days of his presidency and impose tariffs on products from China. The president-elect’s nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, however, said in a confirmation hearing earlier this week that he does not oppose TPP.

    Froman claimed that it will be hard for Trump to be tough on China and withdraw from the TPP at the same time, especially considering the trade deal’s economic benefits for the United States.

    The TPP free trade deal, covering 40 percent of the global economy, was signed last February by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. The election of free-trade-deal skeptic Donald Trump as US president cast doubt on its ratification.

    China has been promoting a rival free trade pact in the Asia-Pacific region, the so-called Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific pact (FTAAP).


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    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Donald Trump, China, United States
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