Biden may face an uphill task trying to form an ‘anti-China alliance’ in Asia

U.S. President Joe Biden may find it difficult to collect Asian “swing states” into a coalition against China, a political analyst told CNBC.

Part of that challenge stems from Biden’s promise to rebuild the American bourgeoisie — which could hamper efforts to push economic and trade policies that Asian countries would check in to, said James Crabtree, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

“What the U.S. has done traditionally is, it’s tried to use both its security and economic power to entice allies into its camp. So as an example , it found out the first TPP trade agreement,” Crabtree told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Friday.

TPP refers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact negotiated by former President Barack Obama and 11 other countries — most of them in Asia-Pacific, which excludes China.

The deal in its original form would be the world’s largest trade agreement, covering nearly 40% of the worldwide economy. it might have enhanced the strategic role of the U.S. in Asia-Pacific, and counterbalance China’s growing political and economic clout within the region.

But the agreement was widely criticized within the U.S. and never approved by Congress. Detractors — which include former President Donald Trump — said the TPP would accelerate the decline of U.S. manufacturing and hurt American workers.

Domestic pressure could still challenge attempts by the Biden administration to strike deals that might attract the region’s major exporting economies.

“Biden has promised a trade and economic policy which is only going to benefit the American middle class,” said Crabtree.

“If he actually does that, it’s much more difficult then to try and strike economic agreements with … the big Asian exporting countries that are the swing states against China. It’s much more difficult for the U.S. to entice them into a broader anti-China alliance,” he added.

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2017 and the remaining 11 countries renegotiated and signed an agreement renamed the comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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