On Monday, Joe Biden said the US needs to work with its allies to counter China’s growing influence. Biden’s comments came after China signed a major trade deal with 14 other countries, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The RCEP includes major US allies in the region, like Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Biden was asked if he would join the trade pact when in office but declined to answer, saying he hasn’t been sworn in yet and that “there’s only one president at a time.” Biden said the US and its allies should set the rules for global trade.
“We make up 25 percent … of the economy in the world,” the former vice president said. “We need to be aligned with the other democracies, another 25 percent or more so that we can set the rules of the road instead of having China and others dictate outcomes because they are the only game in town.”
President Trump withdrew from a trade deal for the region negotiated by the Obama administration in 2016. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed by 12 countries, including Asian and South American countries. It’s not clear if Biden would try to revive the TPP. In 2019, Biden said he would not “rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward” but instead renegotiate parts of the deal to join the countries together to “to hold China accountable.”