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Australia to increase trade with China after U.S. election

Staff Writer |
Australia's Foreign Minister said the country will turn its focus towards an economic partnership with China and other Asian countries in place of a free-trade agreement with the United States after Donald Trump's election win.

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Julie Bishop, Australia's Foreign Minister, said if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation regional free trade agreement, should fail then Australia would turn its attention to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Bishop said Trump's approach to world affairs resembled that of a "classic isolationist or protectionist" at a time when Asia-Pacific nations were looking for greater U.S. leadership.

"We are hopeful that the Obama administration, through President Obama, can pass the TPP (before Trump takes office in January)," Bishop told News Limited on Thursday.

"We see the TPP as an important economic manifestation of the United States' presence in our region.

"Should the TPP not go ahead, then the vacuum that would be created is most likely to be filled by RCEP, the free-trade agreement that comprises ASEAN countries, China, Australia and others at its core."

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