The recent US exit from the TPP has already handed China a significant advantage. Those nations left out in the cold by TPP, which did not include China, are now looking to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which does not include the United States. The RCEP, which includes the ten Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)—plus Australia, China, India, South Korea, and New Zealand—make up almost half of the world’s population and nearly 30 percent of global GDP. It also set America’s high ideals adrift as RCEP “lacks the protections for labor, human rights, and the environment” that had been specified in the TPP.

If President Trump wants to “Make America Great Again,” he should focus on more current and relevant global trends and other critical Sino-American issues such as state-owned enterprises, intellectual property rights, non-discriminatory market access, transparency, fair and equitable treatment of investments, protections against expropriation without compensation, as well as other legal obligations that creates the “rules of the road” in a possibly successful Bilateral Investment Treaty. Railing against the loss of manufacturing jobs is to dwell on something that has already been overcome by the forces of globalization and technology.

In the meantime, Americans should pay less attention to the partisan headlines, and pay more attention to the historical trendlines in Sino-American trade and commercial intercourse that has raised millions from abject poverty on both sides of the Pacific—and the world.

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