If Trump Abandons the TPP, What will Happen to China?

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The President-elect has promised to abandon the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) on his first day as a President at the White House.  If such a thing happens, who will lose? Definitely, China will be the biggest winner.

To see this, look at the trade-focused map below, with countries colored in terms of whether the U.S. or China is their larger trading partner.  The U.S. leads in a few places, particularly in the more proximate parts of the Americas, but China leads more broadly.  Extrapolations indicate that by 2025, the Chinese sphere of trade leadership will extend even farther, with the U.S. forecast to lead only in the part of the Americas that is north of the equator.  If this seems too surprising to be true, it is worth noting that its logic is already reflected in the “Look South” export strategy that the U.S. Department of Commerce developed under the outgoing administration.

The trade leadership map underlines the point that if the U.S. walks away from key geopolitical initiatives like the TPP and if it waters down its treaty commitments, the basis of competition for global influence shifts to a purely economic one — and the Chinese rather fancy their chances.

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Source: Harvard Business Review

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