Obama administration sets in motion global round of trade talks

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

Faced with sluggish jobs growth and failure of the Doha round, the Obama Administration has set in motion a global round of trade talks covering Europe and much of Asia, which is bound to influence countries like China, India and Brazil, say a media report.

“Going through this crisis and recovery has pushed us all to focus on what it is we can do to create jobs and growth in every area of policy. If we are able to execute on this, it will be the most ambitious trade agenda in a very long time,” Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

The report said that if the effort pays off, it could boost some of America’s most competitive and important companies.

According to the daily, finance and consulting firms would be able to move more deeply into Europe, Japan and some developing countries.

Technology leaders would have freedom to source their software and place their computers where it makes the most economic sense, it said, adding that the biotech industry would see longer patent protections, and carmakers could get access to the coveted Japanese auto market.

“To the Obama administration, it’s the logical response to sluggish job growth, the failure of the Doha round of global trade talks and the fear that trade restrictions incubated in places such as China and India could become the global norm unless countered,” The Washington Post said in a major report on trade policies of the Obama Administration’s second term.

“It is a wager, in a sense, on robots over running shoes as the administration tries to create trading rules that play to US strengths in innovation, technology and high-end services but could mean more competition for basic manufacturing,” The Washington Post said.

The discussions include the 11-nation Transpacific Partnership (TPP), a potentially sweeping agreement that would tie the United States more closely to North American neighbours Canada and Mexico and open new relations with growing Asian economies such as Vietnam.

South Korea and Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, may join as well, it said.

In fact, The Washington Post reported that the Obama Administration is engaged in a wide range of talks with a large number of countries and the region.

“If Obama pulls this off, it will be path-breaking, precedent-shattering.

“They appear to have moved from a risk-averse first term to creating a legacy in international economic and trade policy,” Bruce Stokes, head of the global economic program at the Pew Research Center, told The Post.

Published on March 09, 2013

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