Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Free trade Trumps retreat from the free trade makes the Chinese cheer – Süddeutsche.de


  • As one of its first acts, Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of the USA from the free trade agreement TPP.
  • This decision could, of all things, make use of an opponent, the Trump actually wants to fight: China.
  • However, if the country wants to play a more important role in global free trade, China needs to change its policy. This includes, for example, independent trade unions and free movement of such data allow.
Christoph Giesen, Beijing

of The 22. November was for China’s cadres, a day of joy. The night before Donald Trump had a Video on the Internet. At two minutes and 38 seconds of the designated US President should be a program for the first 100 days. As his first order of business, he announced: the termination of the TRANS-Pacific free trade agreement TPP. In China, it was already the next Morning, of those 22. November, as the news agencies sent their breaking news: Trump to kill TPP.

On Monday, President Trump then made seriously. He wrote under a so-called Executive Order. The retreat was a “great thing for the American worker,” he said at the signing in the Oval Office. The United States will stop the ratification process now. Thus, the whole agreement is on the Brink. This, in turn, is now China is a great thing.

Beijing’s officials, especially the leadership cadres in Zhongnanhai, the sealed-off Chinese government quarters next to the forbidden city, are much too smart to publicly in triumph, howling to break free. Instead, a government spokesman, can at best elicit that the people’s Republic was open for any agreements that promote free trade in the Region. It is clear that TPP is now done.

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Because of the TPP agreement is valid only, if all twelve States to ratify after the signing in February of 2016, within two years, or if after the expiration of the 24 months, at least 85 percent of the combined economic output are covered. But this is impossible without the USA. Is the American economy.

A day after trump’s decree, reported the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull to his word, and he wants to rescue the agreement – sort of. The withdrawal of the United States, for TPP “is without question a great loss,” said Turnbull. There is “certainly the possibility for China, the TPP, to join”. The support he got from his new Zealand colleague Bill English; the said, the USA would impact on China. Only Japan’s Deputy government spokesman Koichi Hagiuda expressed concern that TPP is “without the United States is meaningless”. The government in Tokyo will explain, therefore, the United States, what are the benefits of the agreement.

China’s Propaganda was TPP as a conspiracy of the USA

The Chinese Propaganda has presented the plans in the past few years, almost exclusively negative and TPP is interpreted mostly as a conspiracy of the US against China: A club, in the people’s Republic is not welcome. Accurately this is not. That China does not join TPP, has to do especially with the strict rules that have been imposed by the TPP countries. The agreement provides, for example, that in all countries the workers ‘ rights must be respected. The formation of independent trade unions is a Central requirement in the rules. In China, none of the state and the party of independent workers representation bodies. For Vietnam, also ruled by a Communist party, was the implementation of this requirement, a feat of strength.

Still more difficult would it be for China to ensure the TPP-Treaty-guaranteed-free exchange of data. No country in the world protects the Internet as systematically as the Chinese leadership. Facebook, Twitter, and even Google are blocked in the people’s Republic. Until the beginning of the week, the government in Beijing announced that in the future, against a so-called Virtual Private Networks (VPN), especially for foreign companies the Great Firewall to overcome.

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But what the consequences would have been had the entry into force of the TPP for China? The proposed free trade agreement would be bound to many residents of China, close to the United States. One advantage for the USA in the duel with the increasingly foreign politically resurgent China. On the other, especially the export industry in southern China would be under pressure. Many textile and Shoe manufacturers due to rising wages, anyway, trying to Think of whether you leave China and their factories instead open in Southeast Asia. From Vietnam, you could then export with virtually no tariff barriers in the United States. A significant advantage of the location. Since this Monday it is, but again: the advantage of China.

The otherwise quite snappy, the Chinese state press, with cheering comments. And with good reason: Last week, the initial state and party chief Xi Jinping had traveled to Davos, where it has held a plea for free trade. A quite surreal Moment: The General Secretary of the Communist party advertises at the annual meeting of the international economic elite for the benefits of globalisation. But so contradictory it’s not. China’s industry has a large interest to export without customs barriers. The economy, however, the government in Beijing shields for years skillfully. Car manufacturers are allowed to produce only in joint ventures with Chinese partners. Foreign banks, insurance companies, or media companies hardly get licenses.

deal How will the Chinese leadership is now with the Australian proposal? As almost excluded, that China accepts the current terms and conditions. Especially the free access to the Internet and the formation of independent trade unions, the provision of the agreement, Beijing a thorn in the eye. The other TPP countries should not make concessions, likely to China, the so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an alternative Asian free trade agreement under negotiation since 2011, forward. Time China has had enough. And also of influence.

The last RCEP Meeting took place in mid-October in Tianjin, China. In contrast to TPP, the rules are more lax. In addition to the Southeast Asian States and China, Australia, new Zealand, Japan, India and the EU negotiate, among other things. The United States but are. This is according to the Chinese taste.

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