By Quitting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trump Cedes Asia-Pacific to China
Nicholas Grossman
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A couple of quibbles:

  1. It’s really not correct to refer to this situation as “Trump did this”. TPP was killed by a populist uprising against it. Sanders would have killed it, and probably Clinton as well. To “the people who know better”, the annoying thing about democracy is that the people actually have a say, and on occasion, the people may just want to do something that the intelligentsia disagrees with. TPP is one of those cases, Brexit certainly another.
  2. Arguments will continue going forward about how the benefits of global trade accrue to different income groups. The prevailing explanation to the working class, who visually and viscerally experience the problem of formerly middle class factory jobs disappearing, is that they still benefit from globalization because of lower prices. Arithmetically, this may be true; but it’s weak tea if you’re working two jobs at fast food to hold on to the same house that you used to easily pay for with your union job making widgets. What they SEE is a massive shift in wealth; they will not be pacified by economists explaining that the trickle of savings they get each time they go to Wal-Mart offsets the losses. More needs to be done, and “more” is not welfare. Workers want to work.
  3. China. What you don’t consider, as far as I can see, is that in general, the nations in ASEAN do not really want to be more financially dependent on China than they already are. So, the notion that a TPP-less world “cedes” anything to China is a bit overblown, in my view. Outside of Vietnam and perhaps Malaysia, tight financial ties to China are not preferable to tight financial ties to the US, Japan, and Aussies. So, I think that if the Administration moves expeditiously to create bilateral agreements, trade losses to China will be less than many expect.

My $.02

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