China applies to join (CP)TPP

Reuters reports:

China has filed an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the country’s commerce ministry said on Thursday, as the world’s second-biggest economy looks to bolster its clout in trade.

Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted China’s application to join the free trade agreement in a letter to New Zealand’s trade minister, Damien O’Connor, the Chinese ministry said in a statement.

The CPTPP was signed by 11 countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan and New Zealand in 2018.

This is a good thing. Trade works best when it is based on rules that prevent arbitrary tariffs and barriers. China is a huge economy and having them join would be a very good thing.

China has sadly been going more authoritarian in recent years, which is bad. We should speak out when they behave badly. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trade with them. One should only refuse to trade with countries that you are basically at war with.

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