TPP, The Wicked Deal is Dead!
There’s a big difference between fair trade and free trade.
Many who say they are generally in favor of trade agreements perhaps have the romanticized Chomskyfied vision of open borders and a fluidity of goods being exchanged with the benefit of all, Indians emerging like the Phoenix from the slums into call-centers, American regulations on Indonesian factories prohibiting the use of child labor, sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, and cracking down on pirated media across Asia, returning to Hollywood the profit of all those stolen goods. This has been the “market appeal” of these agreements.
What they don’t see, and what would dismay every progressive on the planet, is Monsanto being given free reign to con illiterate or undereducated farmers into trade agreements in India and Colombia, the developing world not having access to life-saving medicine because of pharmaceutical companies’ definitions of intellectual property, and American-led heavy handed negotiations with the U.S. corporations holding all the leverage. These are some of the huge ethical problems with the TPP, and other similar international trade agreements, that were marketed as “benefiting everyone” and “promoting ethical and sustainable business practices overseas” while in fact, doing the opposite.
This, combined with our foreign wars, is why America has been perceived a force of selfish imperialism for a while now.
Trump’s market appeal for doing away with these agreements was to speak the language of his populist supporters: the NAFTA has negatively effected America’s GDP, production, and unemployment figures — so the similarly worded TPP would as well.
I don’t know what Trump’s motives are honestly, but I do know that it was a raw deal for us, for them, and for everyone, except a few.
Reaganomics set a precedent for enabling the wealthy to succeed, and the wealth trickling down to the little people. Though, this doesn’t work because injustice causes the ground of the farmer to go fallow. Before Trump slashed the deal most progressives agreed that the TPP was going to hurt the American economy and working-class. Those articles can be found here, here and here.
As a progressive conservative that believes in connectivity and cooperation, sees the ingenuity and potential of millennial Americans, and hopes for the increased quality of living of developing nations (and am most personally invested in that end), with a clean conscious I can say that I am ecstatic with the future inevitable annihilation of the TPP.
While compassionate Americans now mourn our move toward isolationism, that isn’t necessarily how the rest of the world feels.
The Trans Pacific Partnership was seen by many in Asia as a tool of American imperialism.
China in particular viewed the Trans Pacific Partnership as “anyone but China” as they were not invited into the trade deal with 12 nations, even though they are the leading Asian economy. Some viewed this as Obama’s pet policy to “contain” China, and what seems to be her inevitable rise through her own multilateral foreign policy program: One Belt One Road.
Obama when meeting with President Xi this last autumn kept the topics of conversation to the weather, and protecting wildlife, while ignoring the three elephants in the room: One Belt One Road, debt, and the TPP.