Date: October 6, 2015
By: Nikhil Sonnad and Josh Horwitz
Twelve countries have reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, arguably the world biggest-ever free trade deal. It marks a watershed pact that could open up trade between the United States, its allies, and many Asian countries. But one Asian country is conspicuously missing: China. That might not last.
Barack Obama has at times framed the partnership, or TPP, as an effort to set free trade standards in Asia before China does. But China isn’t completely averse to signing on, as Obama has himself acknowledged.
Joining the TPP would require China to change old habits, even those it has kept after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2011. Because the TPP has been negotiated in secret, we don’t yet know specifics about the rules. The broad strokes of many of its parts are clear, however, and they suggest that China would have to undergo major changes to qualify. [FULL STORY]