Trade Storms Brewing After Trump's Asia Trip

Wendy Cutler in The Hill

World leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam

World leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam on November 11, 2017. (Official White House Photo)

ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler wrote an op-ed about potential trade policy outcomes from President Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia. The following is an excerpt from the article which was originally published in The Hill.

There was a great deal of angst in Asia ahead of President Trump’s first visit to the region.

Japan was concerned that it would be formally asked to initiate bilateral free trade negotiations with the U.S. Korea was worried that President Trump would announce that he would withdraw from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).

China was wary about specific requests that President Trump might make to address the large and growing bilateral trade deficit between the two countries. Vietnam and the Philippines, which both saw their bilateral surpluses with the United States grow this year, shared similar concerns.

At each stop, President Trump did raise the need for fair, balanced and reciprocal trade, culminating in a speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, where he stated that the U.S. would no longer be “taken advantage of” in trade.

He rebuked multilateralism and made it clear that from now on, the United States was only interested in bilateral deals based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity.

But none of the concerns of our Asian trading partners materialized. 

Read the full article here.

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