WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States needs to set the rules on trade while its economy is still strong before China does, US President Barack Obama said during a news conference to promote his Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal at the Nike headquarters in Oregon on Friday.
"We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy and we should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength because if we do not write the rules for trade around the world, guess what, China will,” Obama said.
Obama’s remarks came at a time US Congress is deciding whether to pass what is poised to become the largest free trade deal to date.
The TTP negotiations, however, coincide with China’s plans to start the $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a view to financing infrastructure projects in Asia.
Obama warned that if China sets the rules in a way that would give “Chinese workers and Chinese businesses the upper hand,” it could lock out United States-made goods.
In 2011, the TPP agreement was born out of Obama's Pacific Pivot strategy. Obama stressed then the need for closer security relationships in the region, as well as establishing economic ties with Asia Pacific partners.