PARIS/ST PETERSBURG, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - Putting a stake on a free trade agreement with the European Union, the U.S. hopes to tie hands of China, its main trade and economic rival, former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in an interview with Itar-Tass and Rossiya 24 TV channel.
“The whole U.S. operation seeks through two rounds of bilateral talks with the Pacific Region on the one hand and Europe on the other to finalize what the Americans failed to do through multilateral talks, as all participants in the multilateral talks have an opportunity to express their opinion,” he said. “The U.S. would like to deviate from multiversity and conclude as much bilateral agreements as possible.”
For the United States “a bilateral agreement with Europe is a mega treaty that will help tie hands of its main rival - China - instead of choosing a strategy that will be advantageous for all,” Strauss-Kahn said.
The French economist said he preferred discussions among the U.S., Europe and rapidly developing countries, i.e. Russia, China, India and Brazil. “However, Washington has chosen a different strategy,” he said. “It concerns a very complex treaty for Europe and it is naive to think that it will be targeted only at resolving the problem of existing customs duties.”
Strauss-Kahn said the talks that had been underway between the U.S. and the European Union could hardly be called an equal discussion. “There are no equals to the United States, therefore these talks cannot be a dialogue between equal partners,” he said. “In principle, we can admit that a certain interest exists in the talks between unequal partners. The question is what aims are pursued.”
Officially, the U.S. and Europe are conducting the talks for the sake of free trade conditions, but advantages of the economic growth and new jobs are not in the focus of these discussions. “The thing is that the United States has already concluded the Treaty for the Pacific Region, with all countries of the Asia-Pacific Region, except for China,” he recalled. “Washington is trying to create a lower jawbone having signed a treaty with Europe.”
After common technological, environmental and social standards for free trade are developed with the European Union, “the U.S. will become a master of the situation,” Strauss-Kahn said. “As concerns a lower jawbone in addition to the upper one, a Pacific jawbone, we can wonder who will be found in this jaw? The United States’ historical and most important rival - China - will be caught in there.”