China’s former trade chief pushes for US to join mega Asia-Pacific deal, with a ‘more positive attitude towards multilateralism’



Orange Wang | South China Morning Post

The United States should rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (CPTPP) and work with China to merge the agreement with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to create a huge free-trade area that would include the two largest economies in the world, according to China’s former chief trade negotiator, Long Yongtu.
The CPTPP is an ambitious trade agreement that was created after the  US withdrew from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership during the administration of former US president Donald Trump. Merging the RCEP with the CPTPP would create the largest free-trade pact in the world.
With China already a member of the RCEP, and Beijing having already shown its willingness to join the CPTPP, Washington’s stance is key to economic integration in the region, said Long, the former Chinese vice-minister of international trade and the point man during the country’s years-long talks to gain access to the World Trade Organization in 2001.
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