President Trump withdrew the United States from the 12-nation TPP in 2017, fulfilling one of his most important presidential campaign promises.
The 11 remaining countries (including Japan) agreed to an amended version of the trade agreement, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) last November, signing it this past March. The new TPP will take effect once six of its members ratify it.
On June 13, Japan’s Diet approved a bill to ratify the revised TPP agreement.
Although the United States withdrew from the TPP at Trump’s behest, on April 12 he ordered top officials to look at rejoining the trade pact. The Washington Post quoted Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), who said Trump told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to “take a look at getting us back into [the TPP], on our terms, of course.”
An article in The New American on April 13 noted that American mainstream media have portrayed the TPP as a counterweight to contain the rise of China. It cited a March 27, editorial in the Detroit News entitled “Want to hurt China? Rejoin the TPP.”
Far from hurting China, noted The New American, any U.S. move to rejoin the TPP, which China has shown interest in joining, would be a steppingstone to increase China’s clout. The article noted:
The truth is that both China and the United States are members of APEC [Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation]. The fact that China won endorsement for the FTAAP [Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific] as a “long-term goal” at the 2014 APEC summit demonstrates the United States’ willingness to abrogate its sovereignty and to economically integrate the United States with Communist China and Russia in a future Trans-Pacific Union based out of Beijing.
U.S. reentry and passage of the TPP/CPTPP would be a major step toward the realization of APEC’s vision for the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific and an eventual Trans-Pacific Union, eroding the remaining vestiges of U.S. sovereignty and independence.