A Strategic Case For The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Over the past 15 years, China’s trade presence in the Asia-Pacific has grown dramatically, while U.S. economic influence has declined. Recently, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an attempt to reverse that trend and increase U.S. global influence. However, the TPP has been a source of considerable public attention and debate. This trade agreement, currently awaiting ratification by Congress, aims to lower barriers to trade between the United States, Japan, and 10 other Pacific nations. The TPP nations together represent nearly 40 percent of the global economy, making the trade agreement, if enacted, the largest in U.S. history. Equally noteworthy is the agreement’s strategic importance: TPP gives the United States an opportunity to strengthen U.S. global leadership, promote American interests in the Asia-Pacific, and counterbalance China’s influence in the region.

China’s leadership on trade agreements, investment in global infrastructure, and commitment to military buildup ensure its influence in the Asia-Pacific will continue to grow regardless of whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is passed. However, the TPP would secure continued U.S. economic influence in the Asia-Pacific, preventing China from replacing the United States as the predominant regional power in the Asia-Pacific and strengthening America’s global leadership.

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