The United States and not China should write the trade rules for Asia, US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday night as he called on his country to speed up regional trade deals.
In his annual State of the Union address in Washington, Obama warned that if China prevailed, American workers and businesses would be at a disadvantage. He said Congress should give the White House a freer hand in trade deals to protect American interests.
“We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair,” he said, in an address usually reserved for domestic issues rather than international affairs.
Yifan Hu, from Haitong Securities International, said she believed Obama’s remarks were closely tied to US efforts to promote an Asia-Pacific trade pact.