“It would contribute largely to our nation’s security and Asia-Pacific regional stability, and it would have significant strategic meaning if China joined the system in the future”.
China’s exclusion from the finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership has provoked a range of responses from the world’s second-largest economy, and an analyst said the deal is driven by political motivations to encircle China.
The TPP started in 1995 with four initial members namely, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Chile.
“It depends on your economic position within those countries whether it is a good deal or not”, Nakano said.
But the Japanese auto industry will likely benefit as it will be able to use more parts from Asia for vehicles sold in the United States.
Abe, whose popularity was dented by passage of divisive laws easing pacifist constraints on the military and whose coalition faces a national election next year, has unveiled three new policy “arrows” that aides say subsume an original trio of hyper-easy monetary policy, public spending and reform.
A story by the party-backed Global Times on the agreement carried the headline: “U.S., Japan and 10 Other Nations Create Massive Economic Bloc to Rival China”.
Aid groups have argued that the TPP protections concerning pharmaceutical drugs will lead to companies raising prices and restricting access to products needed by a few of the world’s poorest populations.
The TPP, which aims to raise trade standards, end more than 18,000 tariffs and open the Internet, even in communist Vietnam, is seen as a key step in Washington’s efforts to rebalance its economic presence in Asia. “Our determination will not change at all”, said the conservative leader.
While ostensibly it would seem that the 12 Pacific-Rim member nations have reached a broad agreement, there remains, however, a number of hurdles ahead until the pact moves from paper to reality, with each country under similar pressure as Japan to allay concerns of lobbies also fearing certain sectors will be adversely affected if tariffs are eliminated, or jobs lost to more cost- effective manufacturing hubs.
Skeptics like Professor Nakano doubt that worker rights will be as strongly protected as corporate interests are in the trade deal.
Abe has been a leading flag-waver for the TPP and in doing so has taken on the country’s entrenched agricultural lobby, usually staunch advocates of his Liberal Democratic Party.