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Biden in Asia Biden in Asia
(about 16 hours later)
The politics of trade policy have become toxic in the U.S.The politics of trade policy have become toxic in the U.S.
For decades, the mainstream of both the Democratic and Republican parties favored expanding trade between the U.S. and other countries. Greater globalization, these politicians promised, would increase economic growth — and with the bounty from that growth, the country could compensate any workers who suffered from increased trade. But it didn’t work out that way.For decades, the mainstream of both the Democratic and Republican parties favored expanding trade between the U.S. and other countries. Greater globalization, these politicians promised, would increase economic growth — and with the bounty from that growth, the country could compensate any workers who suffered from increased trade. But it didn’t work out that way.
Instead, trade has contributed to the stagnation of living standards for millions of working-class Americans, by shrinking the number of good-paying, blue-collar jobs here. The incomes of workers without a bachelor’s degree have grown only slowly over the past few decades. Many measures of well-being — even life expectancy — have declined in recent years.Instead, trade has contributed to the stagnation of living standards for millions of working-class Americans, by shrinking the number of good-paying, blue-collar jobs here. The incomes of workers without a bachelor’s degree have grown only slowly over the past few decades. Many measures of well-being — even life expectancy — have declined in recent years.
All along, many politicians and experts continued to insist that trade was expanding the economic pie. And they were often right. But struggling workers understandably viewed those claims as either false or irrelevant, and they refused to support further expansions of trade.All along, many politicians and experts continued to insist that trade was expanding the economic pie. And they were often right. But struggling workers understandably viewed those claims as either false or irrelevant, and they refused to support further expansions of trade.
After President Barack Obama negotiated a major new trade deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or T.P.P. — members of both parties criticized it, and the Senate declined to ratify it. Donald Trump then won the presidency partly on an antitrade platform, and he formally withdrew the U.S. from the T.P.P. After President Barack Obama negotiated a major new trade deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or T.P.P. — members of both parties criticized it, and Congress declined to approve it. Donald Trump then won the presidency partly on an antitrade platform, and he formally withdrew the U.S. from the T.P.P.
This morning, President Biden, on his first trip to Asia since taking office, has announced an agreement that he hopes represents the future of trade policy. It’s known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and includes India, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and a handful of other countries.This morning, President Biden, on his first trip to Asia since taking office, has announced an agreement that he hopes represents the future of trade policy. It’s known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and includes India, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and a handful of other countries.
This framework is much less ambitious than Obama’s T.P.P. But the T.P.P. never became law in the U.S., so it is in some ways a meaningless comparison. Biden’s goal is to manage trade policy in a way that is both less bombastic and isolationist than Trump’s approach but also less dismissive of voters’ concerns than both parties tended to be before Trump’s presidency.This framework is much less ambitious than Obama’s T.P.P. But the T.P.P. never became law in the U.S., so it is in some ways a meaningless comparison. Biden’s goal is to manage trade policy in a way that is both less bombastic and isolationist than Trump’s approach but also less dismissive of voters’ concerns than both parties tended to be before Trump’s presidency.
As one Biden adviser told me, the new framework is central to the Biden administration’s “post-neoliberal foreign policy.”As one Biden adviser told me, the new framework is central to the Biden administration’s “post-neoliberal foreign policy.”
The crucial distinction between Biden’s framework and past trade deals is that this deal does not involve what economists call “market access” — the opening of one country’s markets to other countries’ goods, through reduced tariffs and regulations. The framework instead revolves around increased cooperation on areas like clean energy and internet policy. As a result, the deal does not require Senate ratification. The crucial distinction between Biden’s framework and past trade deals is that this deal does not involve what economists call “market access” — the opening of one country’s markets to other countries’ goods, through reduced tariffs and regulations. The framework instead revolves around increased cooperation on areas like clean energy and internet policy. As a result, the deal does not require congressional approval.
A tangible example is the global supply chain. As part of the framework, the 13 countries agree to identify supply-chain problems early and solve them. If a Covid outbreak in one country forces a certain kind of factory to close, a backup factory in another country can quickly increase production and minimize shortages around the world.A tangible example is the global supply chain. As part of the framework, the 13 countries agree to identify supply-chain problems early and solve them. If a Covid outbreak in one country forces a certain kind of factory to close, a backup factory in another country can quickly increase production and minimize shortages around the world.
Officials in much of Asia remain disappointed that the U.S. abandoned the T.P.P. They rightly note that Biden’s framework is much narrower and will do less to help Asian economies increase their exports to the U.S. “You can sense the frustration for developing, trade-reliant countries,” Calvin Cheng, a senior analyst at Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and International Studies, told Al Jazeera.Officials in much of Asia remain disappointed that the U.S. abandoned the T.P.P. They rightly note that Biden’s framework is much narrower and will do less to help Asian economies increase their exports to the U.S. “You can sense the frustration for developing, trade-reliant countries,” Calvin Cheng, a senior analyst at Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and International Studies, told Al Jazeera.
Still, the Biden administration persuaded virtually every country that it wanted to join the framework to do so. Officials in these countries recognize that Biden is trying to re-engage with Asian allies, in contrast to Trump’s “America first” approach, and many badly want the U.S. to play an active role in the Pacific. Otherwise, they fear, China may dominate the region.Still, the Biden administration persuaded virtually every country that it wanted to join the framework to do so. Officials in these countries recognize that Biden is trying to re-engage with Asian allies, in contrast to Trump’s “America first” approach, and many badly want the U.S. to play an active role in the Pacific. Otherwise, they fear, China may dominate the region.
U.S. officials have the same concern, and the new framework — vague as parts of it may be — offers a structure for economic cooperation that bypasses China. If the U.S. and other major Asian economies can agree to standards on the supply chain, internet policy, energy and more, China will be left to choose between playing by those rules or missing out on new trade opportunities.U.S. officials have the same concern, and the new framework — vague as parts of it may be — offers a structure for economic cooperation that bypasses China. If the U.S. and other major Asian economies can agree to standards on the supply chain, internet policy, energy and more, China will be left to choose between playing by those rules or missing out on new trade opportunities.
Katherine Tai, the top U.S. trade official, who has joined Biden on his trip, told The Associated Press that the U.S. was “very, very focused on our competition with China.” The new framework, she added, is intended to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific region.Katherine Tai, the top U.S. trade official, who has joined Biden on his trip, told The Associated Press that the U.S. was “very, very focused on our competition with China.” The new framework, she added, is intended to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific region.
Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if China invaded.Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if China invaded.
David Ignatius, The Washington Post: “Biden is traveling this week to Asia to project U.S. diplomatic and economic power in a region that has been rattled by the blunders of America’s two most powerful rivals, Russia and China.David Ignatius, The Washington Post: “Biden is traveling this week to Asia to project U.S. diplomatic and economic power in a region that has been rattled by the blunders of America’s two most powerful rivals, Russia and China.
Phelim Kine, Politico: “The Chinese government clearly senses a threat as the administration sharpens its focus on Asia.” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, warned South Korea of “the risk of a new Cold War.”Phelim Kine, Politico: “The Chinese government clearly senses a threat as the administration sharpens its focus on Asia.” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, warned South Korea of “the risk of a new Cold War.”
The framework includes both U.S. allies and “fence sitter” countries that want to maintain close ties with both China and the U.S., Kurt Tong explains in The Hill. These fence sitters have insisted that Taiwan not be part of the deal.The framework includes both U.S. allies and “fence sitter” countries that want to maintain close ties with both China and the U.S., Kurt Tong explains in The Hill. These fence sitters have insisted that Taiwan not be part of the deal.
Judges in Kyiv convicted a Russian soldier of war crimes and sentenced him to life in prison.Judges in Kyiv convicted a Russian soldier of war crimes and sentenced him to life in prison.
Russia is trying to take a Ukrainian city in the east, after struggling to make advances elsewhere.Russia is trying to take a Ukrainian city in the east, after struggling to make advances elsewhere.
The battles on the eastern front have not shifted the war’s momentum.The battles on the eastern front have not shifted the war’s momentum.
When a Russian brigade arrived in the city of Bucha in March, it brought a new level of terror.When a Russian brigade arrived in the city of Bucha in March, it brought a new level of terror.
The Times has started an archive of possible war crimes.The Times has started an archive of possible war crimes.
Mike Pence is laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential run — and distancing himself from Donald Trump.Mike Pence is laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential run — and distancing himself from Donald Trump.
Democrats have divergent views on immigration. A runoff in South Texas embodies the divide.Democrats have divergent views on immigration. A runoff in South Texas embodies the divide.
Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin traveled to the Middle East weeks before the Trump administration ended. A Times examination questions whether they sought to exploit official relationships for private business interests.Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin traveled to the Middle East weeks before the Trump administration ended. A Times examination questions whether they sought to exploit official relationships for private business interests.
A gunman killed a 48-year-old man on a subway train in New York City in an unprovoked attack.A gunman killed a 48-year-old man on a subway train in New York City in an unprovoked attack.
Southern Baptist leaders mishandled sex abuse claims, according to an investigation.Southern Baptist leaders mishandled sex abuse claims, according to an investigation.
Thunderstorms left at least six people dead in Quebec and Ontario.Thunderstorms left at least six people dead in Quebec and Ontario.
Millions of people are homeless and more than 60 people have died after heavy rains in India and Bangladesh.Millions of people are homeless and more than 60 people have died after heavy rains in India and Bangladesh.
The maker of Jif peanut butter has recalled several products because of potential salmonella contamination.The maker of Jif peanut butter has recalled several products because of potential salmonella contamination.
The killing of a 25-year-old woman in Texas has rattled the off-road biking community.The killing of a 25-year-old woman in Texas has rattled the off-road biking community.
Justice Samuel Alito insists the Supreme Court won’t overturn the right to contraception. But he has already outlined the means to challenge it, Melissa Murray writes.Justice Samuel Alito insists the Supreme Court won’t overturn the right to contraception. But he has already outlined the means to challenge it, Melissa Murray writes.
We are in an era of constant deception, Maureen Dowd writes.We are in an era of constant deception, Maureen Dowd writes.
Bret Stephens and Gail Collins discuss the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial and more.Bret Stephens and Gail Collins discuss the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial and more.
Smell good: Baseball is full of superstitions. That would explain the perfume.Smell good: Baseball is full of superstitions. That would explain the perfume.
Metropolitan Diary: A first-time visitor from Canada gets a lesson in how to call a cab.Metropolitan Diary: A first-time visitor from Canada gets a lesson in how to call a cab.
Quiz time: The average score on our latest news quiz was 9.3. See if you can beat it.Quiz time: The average score on our latest news quiz was 9.3. See if you can beat it.
A Times classic: You don’t need to drink eight glasses of water a day.A Times classic: You don’t need to drink eight glasses of water a day.
Advice from Wirecutter: Gifts for college grads.Advice from Wirecutter: Gifts for college grads.
Lives Lived: Bob Neuwirth was a talented singer and songwriter, and he was perhaps best known for the roles he played in the careers of Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. Neuwirth died at 82.Lives Lived: Bob Neuwirth was a talented singer and songwriter, and he was perhaps best known for the roles he played in the careers of Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. Neuwirth died at 82.
At the Cannes Film Festival, you can expect glamour, minutes-long standing ovations and passionate boos. The maximalist festival kicked off last week and will run until May 28. Here’s what you need to know.At the Cannes Film Festival, you can expect glamour, minutes-long standing ovations and passionate boos. The maximalist festival kicked off last week and will run until May 28. Here’s what you need to know.
Why do people care? Cannes has launched the careers of many filmmakers, like Quentin Tarantino for “Pulp Fiction.” Winning a prize can also help an art film secure wider distribution and awards recognition. “Parasite,” which won the top prize at Cannes in 2019, went on to win best picture at the Oscars.Why do people care? Cannes has launched the careers of many filmmakers, like Quentin Tarantino for “Pulp Fiction.” Winning a prize can also help an art film secure wider distribution and awards recognition. “Parasite,” which won the top prize at Cannes in 2019, went on to win best picture at the Oscars.
Are any big movies premiering? Define big. For the cinephiles, films by David Cronenberg, Claire Denis and Park Chan-wook are in the running for the top prize. As for potential blockbusters, “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 hit, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic are also screening.Are any big movies premiering? Define big. For the cinephiles, films by David Cronenberg, Claire Denis and Park Chan-wook are in the running for the top prize. As for potential blockbusters, “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 hit, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic are also screening.
Any standouts so far? Our critic Manohla Dargis liked “Scarlet,” which tells the story of a World War I veteran and his daughter and is “filled with lyrical beauty.”Any standouts so far? Our critic Manohla Dargis liked “Scarlet,” which tells the story of a World War I veteran and his daughter and is “filled with lyrical beauty.”
Anything major happen so far? A screaming woman covered in body paint crashed the red carpet, protesting sexual violence in Ukraine. Days prior, at the opening ceremony, President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a virtual address in which he quoted Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”: “The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”Anything major happen so far? A screaming woman covered in body paint crashed the red carpet, protesting sexual violence in Ukraine. Days prior, at the opening ceremony, President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a virtual address in which he quoted Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”: “The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”
Brighten up a roasted potato salad with jalapeño-avocado dressing.Brighten up a roasted potato salad with jalapeño-avocado dressing.
Stream these action movies, including a Polish heist flick.Stream these action movies, including a Polish heist flick.
Bike along Vancouver’s sea wall, snacking and spotting bald eagles.Bike along Vancouver’s sea wall, snacking and spotting bald eagles.
The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were bathing and inhabiting. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were bathing and inhabiting. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.
Here’s today’s Wordle. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and a clue: Snapshot (five letters).Here’s today’s Wordle. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and a clue: Snapshot (five letters).
If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — DavidThanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David
P.S. Times reporters will join Melanie Chisholm — the Spice Girl known as Mel C — for a live discussion about the group, today at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.P.S. Times reporters will join Melanie Chisholm — the Spice Girl known as Mel C — for a live discussion about the group, today at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.
Here’s today’s front page.Here’s today’s front page.
“The Daily” is about Russia’s military. “Sway” features the C.E.O. of Condé Nast.“The Daily” is about Russia’s military. “Sway” features the C.E.O. of Condé Nast.
Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti, Ashley Wu and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at themorning@nytimes.com.Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti, Ashley Wu and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at themorning@nytimes.com.
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