Trump: Making China great again

unknownThanks to president-elect Trump’s opposition, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is dead. And considering all his China-bashing in the campaign, it’s a supreme irony that they’re high-fiving each other in Beijing – because Trump has handed China one gigantic geopolitical triumph.

This is America forfeiting – to China – Pacific region trade leadership. The TPP, painstakingly negotiated over many years, was our way to unite the other regional nations with us to resist Chinese bullying. unknown-2With America pulling back, now they’re left to fend for themselves, which will mean accommodating to China as the region’s big Kahuna.

But the words “trade deal” have become so politically toxic here. Shame on Democrats for their cowardly unwillingness to defend one of President Obama’s key initiatives. He himself was forced to give up on it. Not to mention Republicans, who until recently knew better on this issue too.

America’s share of global manufacturing has not been falling. Manufacturing jobs have been disappearing — but due more to technological advancement than trade. And trade-related job losses are overwhelmed by the benefits to U.S. consumers when prices we pay are lower. That savings translates into more consumer spending, which creates jobs, making up for any lost. Furthermore, if trade makes countries like China and Mexico richer, that’s good for us — they can buy more from us. And anyhow, the TPP would not actually have given other countries much added ability to sell us stuff – our tariffs were already quite low. unknown-1But it would have required those other nations to reduce their trade barriers, enabling U.S. businesses to sell more to them. For us, it was a no-brainer. But I guess we have no brains now.

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2 Responses to “Trump: Making China great again”

  1. Lee Says:

    I agree that having a trade deal would be good because it would enable more wealth creation. However, I am not so sure that the TPP as written was the deal we were looking for, because the created wealth wasn’t being divided well enough. Please pardon my ignorance about Johnson and Stein, but with Clinton I was hopeful that a better trade deal was in the cards. With Trump, I have no idea.

  2. Greg Says:

    One might suspect a big reason Congress is historically unpopular is because it rejects good ideas for political purposes. Unfortunately, I don’t think we voted out the culprits in this last election. What I predict now is a slew of mixed good and bad ideas all passed by Congress — the bad ones largely for political purposes.

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