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Presidential Issues: Trade


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Grading the Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade

December 9, 2015

By Derek Scissors

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has severe weaknesses as a trade agreement. It offers both commercial and diplomatic benefits, but its value is undermined by the extensive set of nonconforming measures, by rules of origin that risk blocking gains from both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and future deals, and by grossly inadequate treatment of state-owned enterprises. These and other flaws limit the TPP and, perhaps more important, set precedents that will interfere with free trade and harm the interests of the United States.

The stakes are high: the TPP could serve as the governing instrument for most global trade for the next two decades. The TPP itself will initially have only a small impact on the American economy, because the US already has trade agreements with 6 of the 11 other parties. It has potential to expand, however, to South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and others.

Because it represents the latest American positions, the TPP will function to some extent as the basis for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Through competition, it could potentially raise the standards of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, an alternative, less ambitious Asia grouping. With the World Trade Organization (WTO) unable to reach consensus on further reforms, the TPP offers the best chance for global liberalization.

Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: Grading the Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade

Issue Categories : Trade,