In a shift from his predecessor, president-elect Joe Biden has signalled his intention to forge partnerships with other democratic countries to dictate the rule on international trade. These comments came two days after the largest trade pact was signed by 15 Asian countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) covers almost a third of the world’s economy and population.
In a statement, Biden said, “We make up 25 per cent of the world’s trading capacity, of the economy of the world. We need to be aligned with the other democracies – another 25 per cent or more – so that we can set the rules of the road”. He further said, if this is not done, the alternative would be to have undemocratic countries like China dictating the outcome.
Trump, over the last four years, have pulled the US from major multilateral organisations such as the WHO, the TPP and have introduced tariffs on products from countries that over the years have been allies of America.