Australia Seeks Balancing Act in Asian Trade Diplomacy

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speak at a press conference, Canberra, Nov. 17, 2014 (AP photo by Rick Rycroft).
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speak at a press conference, Canberra, Nov. 17, 2014 (AP photo by Rick Rycroft).

Last month, Australia signed a free trade agreement with China, though it has yet to be implemented. Its ninth free trade deal with its neighbors came amid Australia’s active participation in ongoing negotiations over two major trade deals in the Asia-Pacific region, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). How does all this trade-related bustle fit together? And how much is politics, as much economics, involved? The current activity reflects a shift in global trade regimes. Australia used to be a strong supporter of multilateral trade, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the center of […]

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