China Applies to Join TPP Free Trade Deal

Economy Politics

Beijing, Sept. 17 (Jiji Press)--China has applied to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement including Japan and Australia, while the United States is stepping up its efforts to build coalitions to counter China.

The Commerce Ministry announced the move Thursday after President Xi Jinping expressed his intent to consider joining the 11-member deal at a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in November last year.

The participation of China, the world's second-biggest economy, would require the consent of all existing TPP members, also including Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

But Japan and some other members are cautious, making the outlook for Chinese TPP negotiations uncertain.

In addition, many observers say that it would be difficult for China to join the TPP deal early because it requires a high level of trade liberalization. China would have to go through painful reforms, including those affecting state enterprises.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press