Asia-Pacific Policy Rebalance

TOPICS IN THE ARTICLE

Trans-Pacific Partnership:

1. The 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4 or TPP) is a trade agreement among Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. Its purported aims are to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region.

2. Location is in Wellington, New Zealand.

3. Since 2010, negotiations have been taking place for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposal for a significantly expanded version of TPSEP. The TPP is a proposed trade agreement under negotiation by (as of August 2013) Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

4. The TPP is ostensibly intended to be a “high-standard” agreement aimed at emerging trade issues in the 21st century. These ongoing negotiations have drawn criticism and protest from the public, advocacy groups, and elected officials, in part due to the secrecy of the negotiations, the expansive scope of the agreement, and controversial clauses in drafts leaked to the public.

Asia-Pacific Policy Rebalance

Origin and Evolution of the policy

⇒ In 2011, Obama administration issued and took a series of steps for playing a significant role in the Asia-Pacific Policy region citing its importance.

⇒ USA identified this region as geostrategically important.

⇒ It can be studied in two phases.

⇒ When the policy was first rolled out in 2011-12, much of the emphasis was placed on military initiatives in the region. China disapproved of these initiatives, and Beijing took steps to demonstrate its power in maritime territorial disputes with U.S. allies. The Obama administration adjusted its approach in late 2012, playing down the significance of military initiatives, emphasizing economic and diplomatic elements, and calling for closer U.S. engagement with China.

STRATEGIC RATIONALE FOR THE REBALANCE

⇒ China saw this policy so as to contain China.

⇒ But the goals were much broader than what China is claiming. It includes strategic, economic and political considerations.

⇒ After much focus on Iraq and Afghanistan & a decade of War there, Obama administration is placing more emphasis on Northeast, Southeast and South Asia

⇒ In geostrategic terms, the rebalance is the Obama administration’s grand strategy for U.S. foreign policy.

⇒ Also this policy is meeting the growing concern – strategic reassurance in the wake of assertive China.

⇒ To reassure U.S. allies, friends, and other countries in the region that the United States has not been exhausted after a decade of war, that it has not been weakened by economic and political problems at home, and that it is not going to disengage from Asia-Pacific affairs.

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