The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is Not a “Containment” of China

by Matthew Wong ’16

The US policy of pivoting to Asia has seen substantial steps, from strengthening military alliances to being more active in regional institutions such as ASEAN, APEC and the East Asia Summit. The most defining mark that the US seeks to leave in order to hallmark this policy is, of course, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). However, the creation of this giant free trade agreement leaves out a conspicuous power in the Asia Pacific region: China. Some commentators opined that this is an illustration of US attempts to “contain” China. To them, a trade bloc that excludes the biggest economy in the region surely is not a sound economic move. Does the exclusion of China from the TPP really illustrate US intention of “containing” China? Given that the TPP in its conception is plainly a trade agreement and that trade diversion affecting China is expected to be low, I argue that the TPP is not an economic mean to “contain” China.

To illustrate this argument, I will point to the fact that the motive of the TPP is purely commercial – that the US seeks to improve its trade standing vis-à-vis Asia Pacific countries. Secondly, I will show that even if the TPP comes into being, which is an arduous task, the exclusionary effects against China is negligible. In addition, China’s trade linkages with TPP members are substantial so TPP members will have to continue trade relations with China. Lastly, I will elucidate the inclusiveness of how joining the TPP makes it a benign agreement. China’s potential involvement in the TPP depends on its priorities – and there are reasons to believe that China will likely hold out.

Introduction of the TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) aimed at deepening economic ties between member nations, is expected to eliminate or substantially reduce tariffs on the trade of goods and services between member nations, and boost investment flows.[1] The TPP initially had four members (Singapore, Brunei, Chile and New Zealand) when it was first mooted in 2004.[2] Over time other countries joined in negotiations and now there are currently 12 member countries, which include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam.[3] In late 2008, the Bush administration expressed the United States’ interest in joining the TPP negotiations. In 2009, the US formally entered negotiations and has since taken the lead in the TPP negotiations.

On the surface the TPP looks like another trade agreement, but its negotiators envision the TPP to be a ‘comprehensive and high-quality’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that aims to liberalise trade in goods and services, encourage investments, promote innovation, economic growth and development and support job creation and retention.[4] The 29 chapters in the TPP include intellectual property rights (IPR), state-owned enterprises (SOEs), government procurement, labor, environment, rules of origin (ROO), and regulatory coherence.[5]Because the TPP aims to be the most comprehensive and highest standard multilateral trade agreement to date, negotiations have been intense and slow. The finished product will require members to abide by those chapters and will be held accountable by a binding dispute resolution mechanism.

In terms of numbers, the TPP will be a massive and important trade bloc. The total GDP of current TPP countries is approximately US$ 27.5 trillion, comprising 40% of global GDP and one third of global trade.[6] Total trade between TPP countries and the US is worth US$ 1.7 trillion.[7]

US Motives

It is against this backdrop that the US is looking to tap into this potential economic bloc. The liberalization of trade will inevitably raise the total volume of trade. This is particularly important to the United States because over recent years, the US has been suffering trade deficits vis-à-vis many Asia Pacific countries. The US Department of Commerce reported that after the Great Recession of 2008, US trade deficits with Asia Pacific countries began to increase again from US$ 300 billion in 2009 to US$ 370 billion in 2010, and is expected to increase further.[8] Of course, the US has a few goals for the TPP, such as creating a comprehensive, modern template for economic partnerships involving the United States, promoting deeper integration in the Asia Pacific, and providing a model for consolidating existing trade agreements. [9] However, the opportunity of expanded trade is the biggest motivation.

When US Trade Representative Susan Schwab expressed US involvement, the intention of the TPP  only regarded trade. America’s concern was that many trade partners in Asia were reorienting themselves to trade more with Japan, S. Korea and China. After the creation of a  substantial number of FTAs by ASEAN, China and Japan now exclude the United States and could divert trade and investment from it.[10] Hence, the TPP would create an equal level playing field for US exports to TPP members’ markets. According to one government study,, the cumulative US GDP gain from the TPP will be 0.03% by 2025.[11] Thus, US involvement in the TPP is not an effort to “contain” or China by reducing Asia Pacific countries’ trade with China. Rather, it is an American effort to reinvigorate  US trade presence in the Asia Pacific region.[12]

It is also important to highlight that the US led the TPP in 2009, before two significant policy shifts. One of which is President Obama’s pivot to Asia policy heralded by his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a piece in Foreign Policy magazine in 2011.[13]  The other is China dropping its charm diplomacy in favor of a more assertive foreign policy. Although not formally a foreign policy formulation, China’s more “assertive” foreign policy can be traced to 2008 but became more palpable in 2010, with a spike in maritime tensions and more strident diplomacy.[14]

Proponents of  using the TPP to contain China would have to understand that the TPP, due to it preceding China’s policy adjustment and Obama’s strategic rebalancing, cannot feature in the  efforts to sideline China , since the TPP is not a reaction to any geopolitical maneuverings. Of course, some may argue that a trade relationship can sustain more than just an economic relationship. As observed by some scholars, the motives for trade can be categorized into three groups: economic gain, diplomatic, and security. In a study on why some Southeast Asian countries go to great lengths to secure a distant yet economically marginal trade partner, it was discerned that the motives for doing so could be to raise its diplomatic profile abroad or could be a security strategy.[15] That is definitely true. But member countries and the US are solely focused on trade at the moment. If security purposes were intended in the TPP, an exclusion of China from this trade agreement is necessary.  However,China is free to join if it wants to, provided they commit to the stipulations and obligations of the TPP. In addition,  trade provides the most feasible explanation as to why TPP members such as Japan, Singapore and Malaysia are still part of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiation.  A purported TPP with aims to “contain” China would not work if members  continue to engage with China. Therefore, the motive of the TPP is – at the moment –  purely economics.

The complexity of the TPP

It is important to note that the “high standards, eliminating market access barriers to goods and services, addressing new, 21st century trade issues and respect for a rules-based economic framework” that is at the heart of the TPP, has many points of contention.[16]To reiterate, there are 29 chapters in the TPP that cover very sensitive economic areas of member countries. Some of the sticking points in the negotiations have been politically sensitive ones to member countries, such as agriculture, intellectual property rights, service, and investment, among other things. The TPP negotiation has been extended time and time again, despite expected dates for completion. Negotiators are aware of the political implications trade liberalization has on various domestic sectors. In addition, TPP members have been reluctant to accept new rulemaking obligations that require changes to or new disciplines on their new policies in the absence of clear signals that the United States and others will change existing policies and liberalize longstanding trade barriers in key sectors.[17] For a comprehensive and mutual deal to be realized, the US has to substantiate the requirement of the chapters by making concrete policy changes at home. This is the major stumbling block not just for the US but other TPP members as well who will have to face domestic opposition.

Another sticking point is the different stages of economic development TPP countries are at. Malaysia, Vietnam, Chile, Mexico and Peru are all developing countries, whereas the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Brunei, Australia and New Zealand are developed countries. This disparity is not reconciled fully in the TPP. Regardless of members’ stage of economic development, once the TPP is agreed upon and signed, equal commitment and implementation of TPP’s chapters are required. Even if the TPP may hurt the export sectors of Malaysia and Vietnam due to stringent labor and environmental regulations, standards must be met.

An important thing to note is that despite trade advocates stating that trade benefits everyone, the gains of free trade and the TPP are uneven and affect different sectors of the economy differently. In a study done by the Peterson Institute of International Economics, it is predicted that the US would make huge gains in the agricultural sector but will fare poorly in its apparel sector if protectionist measures on its apparel sector were dismantled.[18] New Zealand, which is the biggest dairy producer in the world, hopes that the TPP will dismantle tariffs and quotas in the US and other markets.[19] New Zealand will ultimately dominate member countries’ dairy markets. These are the sort of dynamics at play in the TPP.  Leaders of TPP countries hoped that the TPP negotiations would be completed by 2012, but was pushed back to October 2013, and as of yet, in 2014, negotiations are still ongoing.[20] [21]This illustrates the complexity and the challenges of this FTA. Hence, negotiations are still ongoing and it uncertain whether this trade agreement will come to fruition.

The TPP’s effects on China

In the event that the TPP is signed into agreement, the TPP’s detrimental effects on China are very negligible. In a numerical simulation, the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US predicts the effect of the TPP on China and other non-TPP members. Understandably, non-member countries will face trade diversion from TPP countries due to less trade barrier and greater market access within the TPP countries. According to the study, “simulation results reveal that China will be hurt by TPP initiatives, but the negative effects are relatively small given the geographical and commodity composition of China’s trade.”[22] The trade diversion, even if the amount is marginal, nonetheless stirs up those who hold that the TPP is a “containment” tool.

Li Xiangyang of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences argues that, “the TPP is based on economic and geopolitical-security considerations and China “containment” is an undeniable target of the agreement.[23] To him, beyond economic detriments, the TPP constitutes sidelining China’s geopolitical presence in the Asia Pacific. Additionally, Shen Minghui, Associate Professor at the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Science, argues that the economic gain for large countries such as the United States and Japan in the TPP are very little. The TPP is only a tool for the US to respond to East Asia cooperation and obtain non-traditional economic benefits.[24] Efforts of the United States to drive a wedge between China and Asia Pacific countries under the guise of the TPP are widespread among skeptical Chinese commentators.

Of course, those suspicions are not unwarranted. But as argued above, the US and TPP members’ motive of the TPP are purely economic. Given China’s pervasive economic ties with the United States and TPP members, TPP members have a tremendous stake in keeping China included in their trade relationships. It is important to remember that it will be foolish for the US to undermine China, whose economy and exports the US relies heavily upon.[25] Even when the TPP is signed, TPP members’ relationship with China will not assume any difference because of the extensive trade linkages between China and the TPP members[26] (See table below). These linkages are too interwoven and robust to initiate a drive to sideline China. In reality, China is indispensable from the TPP arrangement because it is a central component in the global supply chain that the TPP is also a part of.

Table 1: China’s Bilateral Trade Linkages with current TPP Members, 2011 (US$ billion)

Country Export Import Total trade Trade Balance
Australia 33.9 82.7 116.6 -48.7
Brunei 0.7 0.6 1.3 0.18
Canada 25.3 22.2 47.4 3.1
Chile 10.8 20.6 31.4 -9.7
Japan 148.3 194.6 342.8 -46.3
Malaysia 27.9 62.1 90.0 -34.2
Mexico 23.9 9.4 33.3 14.6
New Zealand 3.7 4.9 8.7 -1.2
Peru 4.6 7.9 12.5 -3.2
Singapore 35.6 28.1 63.7 7.4
United States 325.0 123.1 448.1 201.9
Vietnam 29.1 11.1 40.2 17.9
Trade balance with TPP countries 102.48
World 1898 1743 3642 154.9

Source: UN Comtrade Database

Admittedly China may experience the exclusionary effects of not being in the TPP. Projection results from a study by the East-West Center in the US found that “the trade diversion effects of the TPP fall mainly on China, although they are small (0.09%) compared to the Chinese economy.”[27] Chinese goods and services will lose its competitive edge in countries that are TTP members, but its trade balance with many TPP members will continue to be in surplus, albeit a reduced surplus. Based on the data of this table, China’s trade with TPP members constitute a third of its total trade surplus. Although at first a decrease in China’s trade surplus with TPP members, even if very marginal one such as 0.09%, may result in a substantial decrease in trade surplus in absolute terms, it is important to note that this decrease still has to be offset by other regions reorientation to the TPP. Countries in regions such as the European Union, South America, Africa and the Middle East will inevitably be affected by the less competitive nature of their products in TPP countries and would be inclined to look for other markets to offset the trade diversion and may turn to China. Thus, a decrease in trade surplus with TPP members is likely to be offset by reorientation of trade by other countries. As a result  of this shift, China’s trade would not be adversely affected by the TPP.

In addition, the “containment” intention of the TPP will be futile if TPP members continue to engage with China in various multilateral cooperation and negotiations. TPP members are doing just that, illustrating that “containment” is not an option. The virtue of TPP members being able to pursue different talks and initiatives renders arguments that the TPP as grounded in geopolitical-security considerations are very hollow. TPP members are not bound by any political or strategic consideration. As mentioned earlier, Japan and South Korea’s participation in talks with China regarding a trilateral free trade agreement dispels arguments that the TTP ushers the limitation of China’s efforts to foster East Asian cooperation. In order for the TPP to effectively “contain” and diminish China’s geopolitical power, the regional countries not included in existing TPP members are needed. Currently, significant players in the region such as Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea have expressed no desire to enter the TPP talks.[28] Is that an indication that they do not wish to join the plot to “contain” China? Or was their hiatus in talks due to economic consideration? The latter argument seems to make more sense and underscore the economic orientation of the TPP.

Perhaps the most obvious indication that the TPP is benign to China is the open yet conditional membership of the TPP. As Meriya Solis from the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies points out, “China, like any other APEC economy, has the right to request entry into the TPP. Whether the Chinese leadership will judge TPP membership to be in their country’s national interest and whether TPP members can be persuaded that China is prepared to abide by the negotiated disciplines is a separate matter. But it is important to dispel the notion that the TPP precludes Chinese entry.”[29] China was and is still free to join TPP negotiations, but due to reasons to be discussed below China has opted not to. In this sense, if the “containment” narrative is taken up, it appears that China’s “containment” was chosen by itself.

TPP does not feature in China’s plans, for now

It is on the grounds of  due to technicality that China is not part of the TPP. Technically any Asia Pacific country can join the TPP but stringent conditions must be met. US officials say that China is free to join, but its current policy on state-owned enterprises, the pervasiveness of subsidies in certain areas such as agriculture, and the low probability of China enforcing environmental standards hinders China from participating. The TPP requires altering illiberal structures that China at present is not willing to do. This is of course anticipated as China is still developing. To maintain regime stability, the Chinese Communist Party will be occupied with guaranteeing continued and high level economic growth. It may not be ready to implement the types of obligation currently negotiated in the TPP. Participating in the TPP may  cause a disruption in various spheres of Chinese society (e.g. soaring unemployment due to higher labor costs, retrenchment of workers due to closures of SOEs, political elite fragmentation, etc.). The TPP is a major and unprecedented commitment. If China still maintains its goal of catching up to the rest of the world,  not joining the TPP may be the best option. Sanchita Basu Das, from Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, also points out that the Chinese government has the capability to implement changes required by the TPP, but does not intend to do so because of incompatibility with its domestic economic development. But China certainly has the capability. “Given the ability of China to carry out extensive reforms leading to the joining of the WTO in 2001, its membership to the TPP will just be a matter of time.”[30]

While it is uncertain that even in the distant future China’s accession to the TPP is inevitable, gaining membership into this potentially premier trade bloc accords many benefits. Indeed, studies point to the benefit of China joining the TPP. As a TPP member, Chinese goods and services will not be subjected to discriminatory practices in members’ markets. This could increase China’s exports substantially, especially to the US. Imports of foreign technology and advanced service will also increase, exposing China to better and more accessible technology. Beyond economics, adhering to the TPP standards would also augur well for China’s environment, laborers and government budget. Although trade offs  will  include the end of extraordinarily cheap labor and disregard of the environment for the sake of low-cost production, the living and environmental quality of China will improve. All these changes will take place in somewhere in the distant future when China has developed substantially and decides it is more advantageous to be in the TPP. But for the time being the TPP accession is just a step too far.

Implications on US-China relations

The TPP is an ambitious trade agreement with the stakes of many countries. But it has now been placed under the US’ umbrella of pivot to Asia strategy. It is important for negotiations or the potential trade agreement not to be held hostage by the geopolitical reorientation of order in the Asia Pacific. Apart from the US, aspiring ASEAN countries have a stake in keeping the TPP purely business-oriented and reflect their aspiration for continued development. The US should be careful in leading TPP discussions. The United States has to think hard about implications of the TPP, not only for member countries but also in regards to China. Issues such as trade diversion and its repercussion to other entities must be thought of before pushing ahead with talks. Jie Huang, associate professor of law at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Law School, points out how a potential TPP may actually undermine cross-strait relations between Taiwan and Mainland China. She opines that the economic framework called the Mainland-Taiwan Economic Cooperative Framework Agreement (ECFA) agreed upon by Beijing and Taipei has strengthened relations between the two entities.[31] The TPP has the potential to undermine the economic importance between China and Taiwan, and perhaps ominously halt rapport of cross-strait relations by offering Taiwan an opportunity to join the TPP. Although this is a untested viewpoint, this may inadvertently aggravate relations between the United States and China. The United States should take nothing to chance and be thorough in its assessment of the TPP negotiations.

The intention of the TPP at the onset is just about trade. That much is true. However economics is inextricably linked and easily tied to politics. Remember how containment of the USSR occurred? Economic meddling was fundamental to isolating the USSR, which  included American assistance to allies and sanctions against the USSR and its allies. The situation today is much different. But Chinese fears that the TPP can easily morph into a political tool is not unrealistic. Assertions such as the United States would like to use the TPP to increase involvement in Asia-Pacific politics and replace China’s and Japan’s influence in the region is commonplace in Chinese academic scholarship.[32] To that end, the United States should continue to act in a manner that places trade as the only motive in the TPP. It is only by conducting negotiations that take into account other TPP members’ consideration and keeping the TPP process open and observable that the US can assuage China’s fears. It would be utterly counterproductive if the United States sought to turn the TPP into anything other than a high standard trade agreement it set out to be.

Perhaps the best way of assuaging Chinese leaders’ and their people’s fear that the TPP is a “containment” effort is for the United States to continue to build trust with the Chinese government. This is of course not easy given the periodic volatility of the region and the two states constant suspicion of each other. But having each government’s officials continue to consult with one another and conducting foreign policy that takes into account each government’s position and interests  could lay the foundations for greater trust between the US and China.

How the TPP progresses will set the tone for US-China relations in the Asia Pacific region. At the moment it seems like there is a competition in the sense that each the US and China are putting forth their own free trade agreements for the region. While the US is putting impetus into the TPP, China has not been quiet about it; China is also proposing a less rigorous free trade agreement, as mentioned above, called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP is envisioned to enhance market access with due consideration given to its members’ stages of economic development. This is likely to be appealing for ASEAN and other developing countries in the region, as opposed to the ‘no gold standard, no deal’ approach adopted by the WTO and the TPP.[33] Although two types of trade agreements may give regional countries a choice to decide which agreement best aligns with their domestic aspiration, this “friendly competition” between the US and China can easily morph into a real competition if regional conflicts surface. In addition, too many different trade agreements in the Asia Pacific region exacerbate the so-called ‘spaghetti bowl’ effect that is already inherent in the region and diminishes the prospect of Asian economic integration.

It is hoped that either the US or China will drop their own initiative to give some focus to a single agreement, but this situation is naturally unlikely. Both want  the most influence on how those free trade agreements transpire. Again, perhaps having alternatives  would  best serve the needs of other Asia Pacific countries.  However,the US and China should not forget that other countries in the region are equally capable of making their presence and interests known, so as to not get  enveloped in US-China – power struggles. What will happen in the region, one can only speculate. But this we should know: the TPP is not an effort to “contain” China. China and the US should see the Asia Pacific region not as an arena for competition, but an arena of cooperation.

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[1] Pandey, Avaneesh, What Is The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Why Does it Matter? International Business Times, (November 10, 2014), http://www.ibtimes.com/what-trans-pacific-partnership-why-does-it-matter-1721344

[2] Gordon, Bernard K., The Future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Council on Foreign Relations, (November 7, 2012), http://www.cfr.org/trade/future-trans-pacific-partnership/p29430

[3] Trans-Pacific Partnership, Office of the United States Trade Representative, http://www.ustr.gov/tpp

[4]  Das, Sanchita Basu, The Trans-Pacific Partnership as a tool to contain China: Myth or Reality?, ISEAS Perspective, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, (May 17, 2013), p. 2,  http://www.iseas.edu.sg/documents/publication/ISEAS_perspective_2013_31-the-tpp-as-a-tool-to-contain-china-myth-or-reality.pdf

[5] Ibid.

[6] Meltzer, Joshua P., The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the environment and climate change, Brookings Institute, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/09/trans%20pacific%20partnership%20meltzer/meltzer%20tpp%20environment%20chapter_version%202.pdf

[7] DePilis, Lydia, Everything you need to know about the Trans Pacific Partnership, The Washington Post, (December 11, 2013), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/11/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-trans-pacific-partnership/

[8] Ruch, Grace, It Takes Two: Imports Increase As US Trade with Asia Grows,East-West Center, (July 25, 2011), http://www.asiamattersforamerica.org/asia/us-asia-import-growth

[9] Petri, Peter A., Plummer, Michael J., and Fan, Zhai, The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Asia-Pacific Integration: A Quantitative Assessment, East-West Center, (October 24, 2011), p. 6, http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/documents/petri-plummer-zhai%20EWC%20TPP%20WP%20oct11.pdf

[10] Petri, Plummer, and Fan, p. 6.

[11] Ibid, p. 37.

[12] Gordon.

[13] Clinton, Hillary, America’s Pacific Century, Foreign Policy, (October 11, 2011), http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/10/11/americas_pacific_century

[14] Matsuda, Yasuhiro, How to Understand China’s Assertiveness Since 2009: Hypotheses and Policy Implications, Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS), (April 2014), http://csis.org/files/publication/140422_Matsuda_ChinasAssertiveness.pdf

[15] Hoadley, Stephen, Southeast Asian Cross-Regional FTAs: Origins, Motives and Aims, Public Affairs, Vol. 80, No. 2, East Asian Cross-Regionalism, (University of British Columbia), (Summer, 2007), p. 303-325.

[16] Flora, Liz, Complete Transcript: Thomas Donilon at Asia Society New York, Asia Society, (March 11, 2013), http://asiasociety.org/new-york/complete-transcript-thomas-donilon-asia-society-new-york

[17] Schott, Jeffrey. J, Kotschwar, Barbara, and Muir, Julia, Chapter 4: Sticking Points in the TPP Negotiations, Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Peterson Institute for International Economics, (January 1, 2013), p. 17-40.

[18] Schott, Kotschwar, and Muir.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Das, p. 2.

[22] Li, Chunding, and Whalley, John, China and the TPP: A Numerical Simulation Assessment of the Effects Involved, The National Bureau of Economic Research, (NBER), (May, 2012), http://www.nber.org/papers/w18090

[23] Li, Xiangyang, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: A Major Challenge to China’s Rise, International Economic Review, (February, 2012),http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-GJPP201202003.htm

[24] Shen, Minghui, A Cost Benefit Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP): A Chinese Perspective, International Economic Review, (January, 2012),http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-DDYT201201004.htm

[25] China is US’ 2nd largest trade partner, 3rd largest export market, and biggest source of imports. See Das, 6.

[26] Das, p. 6.

[27] Petri, Plummer, and Fan, p. 35.

[28] Gordon.

[29] Solis, Mireya, The Containment Fallacy: China and the TPP, Brookings Institute, (May 24, 2013), http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2013/05/24-china-transpacific-partnership-solis

[30] Das, p. 7.

[31] Jie, Huang, TPP versus ECFA: Similarities, Differences and China’s Strategies, China Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, (China University Press), (Fall, 2012), p. 86,http://www.jstor.org/stable/23462218?seq=2&Search=yes&searchText=trans-pacific&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dtrans-pacific%2Bpartnership%26amp%3Bprq%3D%2528tpp%2529%2BAND%2Biid%253A%252810.2307%252Fi27748561%2529%26amp%3Bfc%3Doff%26amp%3Bso%3Drel%26amp%3Bwc%3Don%26amp%3Bhp%3D25&prevSearch=&resultsServiceName=null

[32] Jie, p. 88.

[33] Pakpahan, Beginda, Will RCEP compete with the TPP?, East Asia Forum, (November 28, 2012), http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/11/28/will-rcep-compete-with-the-tpp/

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