A weekend move by Japan and 10 other Pacific nations to press ahead with a vast regional trade agreement without the US has prompted fresh criticism that Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policy is leaving Washington increasingly isolated.
日本与另外10个太平洋国家周末决定推进一项没有美国参与的大规模区域贸易协定，引发了对于唐纳德?特朗普(Donald Trump)的“美国优先”(America First)贸易政策正导致华盛顿日益孤立的批评。
The 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the Obama administration spent years negotiating and Mr Trump pulled out of on his third day in office, announced on Saturday that they had reached agreement on the “core elements” of a deal to proceed without the US.
The group still has work to do, as Canada, Malaysia and Vietnam seek changes to an agreement they have rebadged — at Canada’s request — as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
这些国家仍有工作要做，因为加拿大、马来西亚、越南都希望修改这一协定；在加拿大的要求下，该协定已更名为“全面且先进的TPP”(Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership)。
But officials said the plan was to sign a final agreement early next year, in a deal that would eliminate the tariffs on 95 per cent of goods traded in a bloc covering some 500m people and more than $10tn in economic output.
“This will send out a very strong message to the US and to other Asia-Pacific countries,” said Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese economy minister.
The announcement came as Mr Trump continued to press the case for a rewriting of the US trade relationship with countries in Asia via bilateral trade deals and to push for a new “Indo-Pacific” strategy.
The president and the White House were pointing to the way his Asia trip had been celebrated in China, Japan and other stops along the way. But critics charge that, on the trade front at least, the administration looks increasingly like it is being outmanoeuvred by Beijing and others.
“I think everyone was polite to him and they want to make him think that they are all chummy and willing to do things with him. But I have to think in some ways they are laughing behind his back, and certainly the Chinese are,” one US business lobbyist told the Financial Times on Sunday. “I don’t think any of them have any intention of getting into a deal with him, certainly not on the terms that he wants.”
Michael Froman, who led the US TPP negotiations under the Obama administration, said that the renewed agreement “shows how our allies and partners continue to see the value of putting in place high standards and tearing down trade barriers across the region. Clearly, as the US retreats, the rest of the world is moving on”.