The announced departure of US negotiations to enter the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) will cause a redesign of the international trade scenario: a more protectionist stance of the world’s largest economy.
The US president-elect Donald Trump has accused most partners of “taking jobs” from his country, so less investment and trade are expected over the next 4 years.
For the time being, Costa Rica will continue to aspire to get in the ambitious transpacific network of the TPP through a link with the Pacific Alliance, to which 4 of its major trading partners (Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile) already belong.
One of the objectives of the Pacific Alliance is to approach Asia Pacific. The TPP, on the other hand, intends to integrate the main economies of the Pacific basin,”
said Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora.
The idea is that members explore other mechanisms of bilateral exchange or approach to other forums such as APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) or associations of countries in the region.
Although the TPP might not count on the United States, there are other countries leading the initiative. One of them is China, another important partner for Costa Rica.
For a small economy to take advantage of the Transpacific market, it must strengthen its continental links first.
According to José Manuel Quirce, president of the Foreign Trade Chamber (Crecex), the most logical step is to attract investment and generate employment opportunities within the Alliance.
Laura Bonilla, president of the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (Cadexco), agrees that the Alliance continues to be the gateway to other markets that make up the TPP, mainly in Asia; and that China will take the baton.
The TPP will include Mexico, Chile, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, countries that already have bilateral agreements with one or more members.