By Nagahisa Shiohara
Sankei interviewed former United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman before Nov. 7. On the TPP negotiations among the remaining 11 nations, he stated, “I hope the agreement moves forward while maintaining high standards.” He also expressed hope that regional trade rules will be established through the conclusion of the talks.
Froman pointed out that a power void was created in the Asia-Pacific region when the U.S. withdrew from the 12-nation TPP, and that “China is trying to fill that void.” He stated that “it is very interesting” that Japan is leading the TPP-11 negotiations.
Meanwhile, when asked about the possibility of the U.S. returning to the TPP, he expressed a negative view by saying, “The U.S. is prioritizing NAFTA and U.S.-ROK FTA renegotiations.”
Froman has long regarded Beijing’s demands for technology transfer from China-based American businesses as problematic, pointing out, “Although Chinese President Xi Jinping says that China is a protector of free trade, his current policies clearly contradict this statement.” The former USTR called on nations’ close cooperation in responding to China’s unfair trading practices, stating, “It’s distorting global trade.”