"The TPP was one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts, part of a broader strategy to increase American clout in Asia and provide a check on China’s economic and military ambitions. The deal with 11 other nations along the Pacific Rim covered a wide swath of goods, granting U.S. cattle ranchers better access to Japan and lowering tariffs on apparel imported from Vietnam. Congress granted Obama 'fast-track' authority to negotiate the agreement in 2015, but political sentiment quickly shifted, and the deal fell apart without making it to Capitol Hill for approval. Trump’s election effectively guaranteed its demise," Ylan Q. Mui writes for the Washington Post.
"In his first act as President today, Trump showed he does not understand the first thing about trade negotiations. In announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, Mr. Trump has just unilaterally given away the biggest piece of leverage he had to deal with the biggest challenge in the world of trade, which is the increasingly troubling behavior by the world’s second largest economy, China. It is the first rule of any negotiation that you don’t give away something for nothing. Mr. Trump just did," writes CFR's Edward Alden.
"Emerging at the top of the alphabet soup of potential trade pacts is the pan-Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which excludes the US and until recently played second fiddle to the soon-to-be-killed Pacific Rim pact. Experts say the RCEP can now be the centrepiece of 21st century free trade, a title they previously bestowed on the TPP. Long seen as a project led by Beijing to counter the US-backed TPP, the RCEP involves the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and six countries with which the bloc has existing free trade pacts: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand," Bhavan Jaipragas writes for the South China Morning Post.