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Trump officially entered the US-China trade war into a new stage today after he announced that he had called off last week’s trade talks with the Communist nation. Speaking in Yuma, Arizona, he said: “I cancelled talks with China. I don’t want to talk to China right now.” His newest attack came after he revealed his intention to offer tax credits to entice US firms to move factories out of China earlier this week.
Manufacturers have already been moving to relocate in recent years, looking to evade strict sanctions and continue trading with the US.
Many have argued that the renewed aggression is part of a policy campaign in order to secure a second term in the White House, with under 100 days until Americans vote for their 46th president.
Trump has made steps during his presidency that appear to have actually reversed an anti-China sentiment that he has become known for.
One such move was his withdrawal from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as it was known back in 2017.
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At the time he said that he had done a “great thing for the American worker” and had avoided a “potential disaster for our country”.
Across the Atlantic, the UK is looking to secure post-Brexit trade deals around the world, the CPTPP being one potential agreement.
Should this happen, Sean King, senior vice-president of Park Strategies in New York and an affiliated scholar at University of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute, told Express.co.uk that Trump could make a drastic U-turn and rejoin the trading bloc – making it one of the most powerful of its kind.
He explained: “I still believe that the US will rejoin the CPTPP because it makes sense, especially given this new geopolitical reality that we find ourselves in.
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“If Donald Trump were to win reelection given his good rapport with Boris Johnson, perhaps the UK joining CPTPP might be enough for Trump to reconsider his exit.
“If he can get some key plans renegotiated, his China trade deal doesn’t go through, and he too could say ‘listen I don’t love multilateral deals but we’re in a new world, we’ve got to be creative post Covid, China’s the real problem here, my good friend Boris says it’s ok, I’m gonna do it.'”
This would, Mr King said, in effect place a trade wall between China and the members of the CPTPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam and potentially the UK and US.
Similarly, the Democratic Party nominee who is hoping to replace Trump for the top job, Joe Biden, may also take the US back into the CPTPP.
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Mr King said this would align with Democrat and previous president Barack Obama‘s toughening stance on China.
He argued: “I think Biden would be open to bringing Washington closer to TPP – he won’t admit it now but I think he would.”
The CPTPP, or TPP as it was first known, wasn’t created specifically to curb China’s economic prowess, but Mr King said that is essentially what it has evolved into.
China is reportedly unbothered by the CPTPP.
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It has something similar of its own, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
This trading bloc is a proposed free trade agreement in the Into-Pacific region between ten member states.
Some of the member countries include those within the CPTPP.
RCEP: China has its own trading bloc which includes many members of the CPTPP
The agreement was initially drawn up in 2012 but has yet to be signed.
At the end of 2019, India opted out of RCEP – indicative of tensions that today rage between New Delhi and Beijing.