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Obama abandons allies on AIIB

By Kevin P. Gallagher | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-24 08:00

The Obama administration is looking increasingly left behind as it defies its closest allies and the US president's own party on foreign economic policy in Asia. The Obama administration rebuked the United Kingdom for agreeing to participate in negotiations for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, even though the new institution would fill a major gap in Asian infrastructure needs.

At the same time, Obama abandoned his own party in an attempt to ram through authority to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a trade deal with Pacific Rim countries that would bring little economic benefit and high economic cost either to Asia or the United States.

In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008-9, China offered its newly acquired financial prowess to help boost Western-led financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Although the Obama administration backed reforms at these institutions that would have given China more say, it has done little to counter an intransigent US Congress that, under Republican leadership, has failed to pass those critical reforms.

Obama abandons allies on AIIB

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