Biden worrying to give up Asia’s digital oil to China1 min read
Now that Asia has stitched together the world’s biggest trading bloc, US financial and tech firms ought to be more than a little worried.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, will bind the 10 economies of Southeast Asia with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, creating a prototype of what my colleague David Fickling describes as “a sort of Pax Sinica,” a Beijing-led global order.
To provide a counterweight, the US needs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). President Donald Trump backed out four years ago.
Japan is keen for Joe Biden, as the next president, to reverse the exit. But the goal of a US pivot to Asia can’t solely be to encircle China. The objective must be to establish rules for ownership and use of Asian consumers’ financial and e-commerce data, a commodity that is set to become more valuable in this century than perhaps even oil was in the last.