Asia Rising, US the Land of the Setting Sun?

US now finds itself on outside of two massive Asia-Pacific blocs

From Nikkei Asia:

Five RCEP takeaways: Asia cements grip as free trade torchbearer

In my opinion at exactly the wrong time Trump’s America has turned inward, gone protectionist and has introduced regressive policies that will see it lose momentum in many areas.

Now, I don’t dispute the great technology infrastructure in the US and I also believe that our IP needs to be defended. So this is not a ‘shit on Trump’ post. He has done some good things. But the clown has also set us back in ways that we won’t know for years or even decades to come. The world is moving on and we are stagnating at best.

You think I’m a liberal globalist? I – and likely not you – was a US manufacturing guy. I lived through the unfair competition from China, Mexico and other cheap labor zones as US corporations fell all over themselves to outsource our industries. So don’t give me that “Massachusetts liberal” crap, okay? I lived under the credo “automate or die” for years.

But progress is what it is and it does not care about the US or any other specific interest. Progress is progress. It is automation, efficiency and lowered barriers. Protectionism of what used to be is antithetical to that.

Anyway, here’s a brief clip but you might check out the whole article linked above. The world is changing and the effects of the last four regressive years will not be dialed back so easily. Corporations will seek out the best bottom line while the American people may suffer an ongoing hangover.

Ironically, Trump may be the force that pushed Asia over the hump.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, suggested that by signing RCEP, Asian countries have proved something to themselves. “The fact that the agreement got over the line after eight years of negotiation, between a widely disparate group of nations, is an achievement in itself,” Halley said. “That has left the Asia-Pacific with a feeling that there is life in the world, with or without the U.S.”

Of course, even if their government keeps its distance, U.S. companies can still benefit from RCEP in their Asian operations.

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