TPP Light

President Donald Trump, on taking office, pulled the US out of the not-yet-finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involved nations all around the Pacific rim including the US and Canada.  The TPP was far from perfect, but international trade is more about international relations and foreign policy than it is about economics, and it was a mistake to pull out.

The economic and political power of the coalition would have been a powerful brake against an acquisitively aggressive People’s Republic of China; the remaining 11 nations still represent some 17% of all world trade—and 30% of the world’s trade runs on sea routes the go through the TPP’s region—trade that is every bit as critical to the PRC’s economy as it is to Japan’s and the US’.

It might yet be.

[T]he eleven remaining TPP members have reached an agreement on the trade pact in principle, which means a new pact—without the United States—could be put into place which could shape trade in the Asia-Pacific area for the next decade.

Of course Canada is being nearly as foolish, demanding union rights over right to work parameters and expressing a willingness to blow up the remaining TPP if they can’t have them, but at least they’re still talking.

We should support the TPP’s conclusion for its PRC-containment potential, at the very least.

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