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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

U.S. trade challenges continue to grow, Biden to inherit foreign policy woes

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

November 16, 2020

Asia forms world's biggest trade bloc, a China-backed group excluding U.S.

(Reuters) Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world’s largest free trade bloc on Sunday, a China-backed deal that excludes the United States, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump.

The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at a regional summit in Hanoi, is a further blow to the group pushed by former U.S. president Barack Obama, which his successor Trump exited in 2017.

Amid questions over Washington’s engagement in Asia, RCEP may cement China’s position more firmly as an economic partner with Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea, putting the world’s second-biggest economy in a better position to shape the region’s trade rules.

What is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)?

Asian leaders have signed a mammoth trade deal that has been nearly a decade in the making.

It includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed on the side lines of the mostly-online Asian conference this weekend.

The new free trade zone will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.

India was also part of the negotiations, but pulled out last year, over concerns that lower tariffs could hurt local producers.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed on the side lines of the mostly-online Asean conference this weekend.

China looms as Biden's biggest foreign policy challenge. Here's where he stands

(CNN) As United States President-elect Joe Biden faces an ugly, potentially contested transition, foreign policy may be the last thing on his mind.

But in capitals around the world, foreign leaders are already clamoring for his attention, hoping to reset relationships and restore norms that shifted under President Donald Trump.

Nowhere will there be greater opportunity for a shift than in the US-China relationship, which has deteriorated to historic lows during Trump's term in office. Over the past four years, both sides have slapped the other with trade tariffs, restricted access for tech companies, journalists and diplomats, shuttered consulates, and squared off militarily in the South China Sea.

Analysts in both countries are still debating whether Biden will embrace Trump's more punitive policies towards China or move to reset relations between Washington and Beijing.

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