US President-elect Donald Trump is no stranger to making divisive political statements but his most recent declaration is causing some concern from some allies across the ocean. Trump vowed to pull out from the 12-nation agreement that is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, otherwise known as the TPP.
Created by current US President, Barack Obama, the business-mogul turned politician is calling it a “potential disaster” for the country and his decision to quit starting next year is worrying lawmakers in New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. What is TPP for, and how does it affect the United States?
What Is TPP? The Trans-Pacific Partnership in a nutshell
To understand why President-elect Trump is against the agreement, the conversation must begin with the analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As per The Independent UK’s masterful summary, the TPP is a proposed agreement among the 12 Pacific Rim countries (hence the name) that aimed to cut tariffs and would ideally result in the deepening economic ties between the signatories. In February 2016, the member-states that signed to be part of the experimental agreement were the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru.
In a nutshell, imagine a new single market that resembled the EU. But for the agreement to be ratified, all 12 member-states need to be onboard. That being said, without the United States’ support, the TPP will most likely remain blueprints.
What is TPP? Pros, Cons, and Why Trump Doesn’t Want It
According to the BBC, the TPP covers around 40% of the world’s economy, totaling to 800 million people from around the Pacific Rim. The TPP, which was a result of seven years of work among the world’s governments, was a beacon of remarkable achievement since it took into account the very different approaches and standards that existed within the individual member-states. It also covers environmental protection, workers’ rights, and regulatory coherence. From food safety laws to banking regulations, the TPP seemed to most as a step forward in solidifying international trade and partnership among sovereign nations.
It would also widen the market so to speak, promoting economic growth and promoting greater access to goods and services from all over the world. Notably, as per Express UK, China is missing from the TPP. Critics of the agreement are calling it Obama’s move to remain independent from the Sleeping Dragon’s growing economy. President-elect Trump has also pointed out the TPP’s flaws on more than one occasion. His strongest bullet-point highlights the TPP’s exclusion of local interests.
Interestingly, even Senator Bernie Sanders argued that the TPP will end up destroying the dynamic comprising small, working families in the United States. Corporations would take precedent over small businesses and local entrepreneurs. Not only that, by making it easier to shift jobs abroad, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would inevitably drain the American working force, leading to huge losses in the United States. Additionally, anti-TPP protesters are not happy that these deals were made behind closed doors. Governments worked on the agreement for seven years, hoping to bring about a huge change in the local economy without any of the voters’ knowledge on the issue.
Although SBS AU has quoted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over America’s intention to back away from the treaty, where he says that without the US, the TPP would be useless, Trump offered a recompense for removing the country’s participation in the 12-member agreement. He said that he would replace the deal with “fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”
During the recently concluded APEC Summit, members of the TPP continued to discuss the future of free trade despite Trump’s statements against the deal.
Wha do you think about Trump’s position on TPP?
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