Skip to content

Balancing China in the Asia-Pacific

April 28, 2015

Last week, Chairman Paul Ryan delivered the Weekly Republican Address, and he posed the following question: “Is China going to write the rules of the global economy, or are we?”

The best thing the Unites States can do right now to level the playing field for American workers is pass Trade Promotion Authority. This will ensure that Americans get the best deal possible when finalizing trade negotiations like the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In addition, completion of the TPP would help the U.S. and our trading partners, like Japan, counterbalance the influence of China in the Pacific Rim region. And with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington this week, it is important that we emphasize that he is “a once-in-a-generation leader with a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

As Chairman Ryan wrote in the Washington Post this morning, “If the United States and Japan lock arms, we can resist China’s bullying and reassert leadership in the Asia-Pacific.”

The geo-political implications of TPP are immense. As Matthew Continetti writes of TPP in the Washington Free Beacon,  “A trade deal of this size is more than an economic arrangement; it’s a political arrangement with global consequences.”

And what if TPP doesn’t happen? It will not only hold back the U.S. economy, but it will hurt our standing in the world. In a The Heritage Foundation report, Dr. Derek Scissors explains the strategic consequences of such a failure. He writes “a TPP collapse would allow China to portray itself as leading when it comes to progress in the Asia–Pacific and indicate that the U.S. only leads when the situation deteriorates.”

The stakes are high. Let’s make sure that we are shaping the 21st-century economy, not China.