What the new TPP means for US influence in the Pacific

The Nha Trang port in Vietnam. Photo by: Richard Vignola / CC BY-NC-ND

Despite the Trump administration severing ties with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it still lives on in a modified form. Originally a 12-country partnership, the new TPP 11 is a planned trade partnership between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The withdrawal from the TPP was just the first step for the United States in creating barriers with the Asia-Pacific region.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Hanoi this May, the new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer promoted a U.S.-focused trade agenda. He ruffled the feathers of Asia-Pacific representatives, including former TPP partners, resulting with no joint statement released on pathways for economic growth and development — a common practice at any such forum.

Experts are warning this will negatively impact the ability for the U.S. to be a political, economic and social influence in the Pacific region.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.