China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries signed a mammoth trade agreement covering one-third of global GDP on Sunday — a move that extinguishes any hope for the viability of former Vice President Joe Biden’s China trade policy.
The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) creates the world’s largest trading bloc, a market of 2.2 billion people and GDP of $26.2 trillion. Most analysts agree that it will strengthen China’s political and economic standing in the region and around the globe.
It also highlights a critical weakness in the trade policy Biden advocates. On the campaign trail, Biden repeatedly criticized the Trump administration’s approach of unilaterally imposing tariffs and demanding trade reciprocity. But he insisted he would not accept the pre-Trump status quo either.
“China is stealing intellectual property. China is conditioning being able to do business in China based on whether or not you have 51 percent Chinese