Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

John Nelson

Second Advisor

Hiroaki Watanabe

Abstract

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement would have been the most sizeable free trade agreement in history. The agreement was set up by the Obama administration as an economic benefactor plus geopolitical tool to maintain the balance of power in the Asia Pacific region, rivaling the power of China. However, numerous politicians within the Trump administration, plus multiple political opposers including Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, were major advocates for the U.S. removal after realistically adjusted estimates of the TPP showed economic benefits not equating to original estimates. However, the United States withdrawal raises significant successes that can be achieved for signatory members through four main factors of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); economic, political, environmental and developmental factors. A key effect of the “new” CPTPP is the ability for a power shift to occur between the countries in the Asia Pacific, thus enabling smaller countries to obtain a greater degree of power, letting their voices and agendas be heard. This paper will draw data sources from the World Bank and elsewhere to show GDP statistics and significances for all nations in the CPTPP. Key findings of the paper consist of four main factors aiding the signatory members of the CPTPP agreement to achieve success from the U.S. withdrawal. In addition, allowing China to gain control of power in the Asia Pacific through reduced U.S. hegemony gives China additional trade opportunities thus expanding its economic capabilities. The ever-increasing economic standpoint of the region will persist, coupled with increasing living standards and member governments able to capitalize on the growth of the CPTPP.

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