Speaking on CNBC, Carnegie’s Evan Feigenbaum explained that Asia can be viewed through two sets of analytical frameworks, which he described as Economic Asia and Security Asia. Historically, he said, the United States has played a very important role in both spheres. However, he argued that it is now likely that it will fade in the former, at least in relative terms, while continuing to play a very critical role in the latter.
In the future, he predicted it is very likely that Washington will continue to be Asia’s primary security provider, while the economic rules are set by Asians themselves. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not just about improving opportunities for American businesses, Feigenbaum concluded; it is a necessary but by no means sufficient step for the United States to achieve a market-oriented and open regional economic order.