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Vietnam's Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh and Japan's Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at a TPP press conference. Photo: Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images

Eleven countries in the Asia-Pacific will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement this Thursday, while the TPP’s original catalyst — the United States —watches from the sidelines. Of all the groups ruing what could have been, America's advanced energy sector must be left particularly disheartened.

Why it matters: The TPP was expected to reduce costs for imported renewables. Not only will these savings not be realized, but new steel and aluminum tariffs may add around 2 cents per watt to utility-scale solar projects, in addition to the increase of 10 cents per watt from the recent solar tariffs.

The TPP was also expected to reduce trade barriers to American clean energy exports in partner countries, saving the U.S. renewables industry at least $24 million a year. This is a big deal: Renewable energy was the largest destination for capital expenditure in the Asia Pacific region in the first half of last year, and renewables now represent almost 30% of the global infrastructure market.

China has long eyed these opportunities in emerging Asia, always with proximity on its side and now with advantages of scale as well. While China accounted for 40% of global investment in clean energy in 2017, at $132.6 billion, U.S. spending came in below half that level, at $56.9 billion.

What's next: To its early architects, the TPP was an opportunity to ensure a strong foothold in Asia for the U.S. through high standards and open trade. President Trump has since opted for trade wars over treaties. We should hope to resolve soon which works better, before America's advanced energy opportunities become collateral damage.

David Livingston is the deputy director for Climate and Advanced Energy at the Atlantic Council.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.