- He’s the president. He issued an executive order withdrawing the United States from the TPP. He could have done otherwise. It’s reasonable to say he did it with the support of many Americans. But he did it.
- They might see “a massive shift in wealth,” but trade isn’t the cause.
- They might not want to, but won’t have much of a choice if they want to continue their development paths.
If the Trump administration’s plan is to reject the multilateral trade deal and then work out a series of bilateral trade deals that do the same thing, that’s a poor strategy. At best it wastes a lot of time and creates uncertainty to arrive at a similar result. At worst, it signals to countries that the United States cannot be trusted, they refuse to make a new trade deal, and reduce cooperation with America more generally.
Besides, all the American public’s objections to multilateral trade deals apply to bilateral trade deals as well.