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The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive multilateral trade agreement now in the works that focuses on the Asia-Pacific region, could add billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and solidify Washington's commitment to the Pacific. But if the Obama administration fails to calm critics of the deal, there is a growing possibility that it could collapse.
The United States is preparing for an Asian century, and its trade policy is following suit. Officials hope that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement soon to include Japan, will help solidify their economic role in Asia.
Washington's unwise return to economic "regionalism," evidenced by the many U.S. efforts to build new bilateral or regional free trade agreements, threatens to damage both U.S. foreign and U.S. trade policy. The United States should work instead to strengthen the WTO and the single world trade system it represents.
America should not undermine global trade through a Free Trade Area of the Americas in the mistaken belief that it has natural markets in South America.
Summarizes regional developments which affected US interests during 1990 (1) imminent closure of US bases in the Philippines, seen as unlikely to harm US regional interests and more likely to damage the Philippine economy (2) the change in US policy on Cambodia, and preparation for normalization of relations with Vietnam (3) changes in Soviet policy towards the APR, to the disadvantage of Vietnam and North Korea (4) the more gradual evolution of China's foreign policy (5) the troubled course of US-Japanese relations.
Vietnam's occupation of Cambodia poses problems for US foreign policy in the region. The USA should cease to take the lead from ASEAN and should pursue a policy taking greater care of US interests, in the light of the Soviet involvement in Vietnam (particularly at Cam Ranh). The USA must be pragmatic and move forward from policies based on the experience of the 1970s. Some normalization of relations with Vietnam is recommended. China's attitude may make all the difference to the solution of the Cambodian question, but the Chinese are seen as having such an interest in maintaining good relations with the USA that they would not jeopardize them for the sake of Cambodia.
Three events occurred in Japan in 1977 that make it absolutely clear that the long period of postwar dependence on the United States, and Japan's corollary "low posture" in international affairs, have come to an end.