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TPP Pressure Cooker is On
Jesse Richman, 10/5/2015

A deal has been struck -- The Trans Pacific Partnership is now awaiting Congressional legislation to enact its provisions (ratification is an inappropriate word as the Constitution's 2/3 majority to ratify a treaty is once again being bypassed).  Now the time line for consideration kicks in.  The Washington Post's Kelsey Snell lays out the steps that will lead up to a vote.  Advocates may well try to push for a vote as quickly as possible in order to minimize electoral risks.  Members of Congress, and their leaders, know that a TPP vote is a dangerous vote.  Hence, the effort will be to get such a vote taken as soon as possible in order to give memories as much time as possible to fade before the election, or supporters may try to target the electoral sweet spot between primary and general elections.  

It will be a month before members of the general public are able to view the TPP agreement.  Hence, for some time yet we will all still have to work from leaks rather than final text.  But given what is already known, it is hard to see how this deal can be a good one.  Clyde Prestowitz makes a compelling case in the most recent issue of American Prospect that the deal is not only bad economics but bad politics.  He concludes. 

My main point is that if you’re a dove, the TPP does nothing for you because it will simply increase the trade deficit while worsening the circumstances of the vast bulk of Americans. If you’re a hawk, the TPP does nothing for you because it’s just not a serious tool for containing China. Thus, either way, Congress should just say no to the TPP.

The entire article is well worth a read. 

It remains clear that the TPP failed to address core concerns such as the balance of trade and currency manipulation.  While the administration lamely claims that negotiations are underway on a separate deal to address this challenge, the chances that such an accord will be struck are more or less nil.  Ford rightly opposes deals that fail to address currency manipulation.  

The TPP will be a very dangerous vote if the accord that was struck continues the failures of the last two and a half decades of U.S. trade policy.  If the deal is as bad as early indications suggest, then members who support it will have a lot to answer for. 

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Comment by M, 10/8/2015:

You thought G.W.Bush II was the worst president? Look again!

B.H.Obama is racing G.W.B. II to the bottom. It may end in a photo finish.

B.H.O.'s ugly baby is a mess called the Affordable Care Act. B.H.O.'s next move was being a Lame Duck Celebrity in Chief for 6 + years. Then B.H.O. surprised everyone with an agenda from another planet. Defacto Amnesty anyone! A Treaty with Iran (Yes, that IRAN). Finally, B.H.O. allied himself with the republicans to pass T.P.P., throwing his supporters under the bus!!!  

B.H.O has done more and worse, but his legacy is a mountain of crud. Top that president Trump!

Comment by Ron V, 10/9/2015:

I totaly agree with your article. Do we really need another NAFTA on steroids, such as the TPP.

Ross Perot in 1992 said it righ,t when he said we will hear a sucking sound going south with NAFTA and he was also right as we indeed lost our manufacturing in this country.

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]