Peru president, APEC host, warns of threats to free trade

"The United States has been working since the end of the Second World War to liberalize trade".

"There is no doubt that if the TPP fails it will be a huge win for China, politically and economically", said Brian Jackson, a China economist at consultancy IHS Global Insight.

"The fact is that moms in Minnesota are still going to want blueberries in January, that your average consumer in England is still going to want the full assortment of products that they've been used to, and I have confidence that it will work out in a way that is practical and pragmatic". "The U.S. appears as largely bereft of a constructive economic strategy towards the most dynamic region in the world". China didn't take part in the talks.

Kishida also called for advancing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a 16-nation, lower-standard regional FTA that does not include the United States.

The number of trade restriction policies grew from 381 in the middle of 2010 to 1,263 by mid-October this year, according to the World Trade Organization, which has warned that restrictive trade policies are hampering global growth. But we can't thrive if trade barriers prevent us from being competitive with others who have preferential access because their governments have been better at reaching trade agreements, like Australia that already has agreements with Japan and China.

While campaigning, President-elect Trump had labeled the TPP "a disaster" and his populist stance on trade issues in some ways echoed sentiments heard in Britain, when it voted in June to quit the European Union.

He may impose punitive tariffs on powerful trade partners such as China and revise key free trade deals with countries such as Mexico that rely on the U.S. market, the Institute of International Finance said. "We should write those rules".

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"It's a bit complicated. everyone is trying to create their own sort of bloc", Moshirian said, adding it's essentially a battle for "supremacy and control of trade and investment within the Asia Pacific region".

"U.S. failure to follow through on TPP is a huge blow to the credibility of its Asia policy with important economic and geopolitical repercussions", Solis said. "There will be other links between countries in Asia, with America, with Europe, and China will fit into this global network", Mr Lee said.

But not all countries were ready to throw in the towel on the TPP.

"That has got indirect impacts on the way APEC leaders are seeing the world", Director of the Institute of Global Finance at the University of New South Wales Professor Fariborz Moshirian, told Xinhua earlier this month.

A decade-old plan for a free-trade area in Asia is set to be resurrected at a meeting of Pacific Rim leaders in Peru this weekend, as the region scrambles for alternatives to the all-but-dead Washington-led Trans-Pacific Partnership.

On the face of it, China appears pleased at the opportunity it's been given.

He did not directly mention U.S. President-elect Donald Trump or his opposition to free trade deals. "You must make it quite clear right at the start what those expectations should be, and you have to honour your word, over many terms of government", said Mr Lee.

  • Lawrence Cooper