President Trump’s Executive Order withdraws US from TPP fulfilling another campaign promise
Fulfilling a campaign promise to undo the commitment in the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal), President Trump signed an executive order yesterday enacting a withdraw. Trump’s rhetoric on trade during the campaign is turned into action as the President vowed during the campaign to withdraw the US from the Pacific trade deal, which he argued was harmful to American workers and manufacturing.
The TPP was negotiated under former President Barack Obama, but never ratified by Congress, so withdrawing from it will not have an immediate, real effect on US economic policies, although it does signal a new and very different US outlook on trade under Trump.
In November, then President-elect, included this move as part of his “first day in office” promising to “putting America first” and that he and the new administration would “bring back our jobs.”
The massive trade deal was agreed in 2015 by nations including the US, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, but has not yet been ratified by the individual countries.
Its aim was to deepen economic ties and boost growth, including by reducing tariffs.
During the campaign, Trump used broadbrush arguments against the pact, but in June 2016 he described it as “another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country.”
In another speech he referred to the TPP as “the greatest danger yet.”
Just as President Trump went after NAFTA, the TPP represents more harm to American jobs as cheaper labor is in countries like China, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
“Instead of negotiating with 12 countries in the TPP, he thinks he can get a better deal for Americans if there are fewer countries at the table,” says Stuart Trew, trade economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and co-author of “The Trans-Pacific Partnership & Canada: A Citizen’s Guide.”
“These are interesting times for trade. Trump is shaking up the orthodoxy.”
“Let’s not kid ourselves: the TPP was never about Canada. It was about Washington’s desire to undermine China, and increase its commercial footprint in the East Asian region,” stated Sylvain Charlebois, a food policy expert at the University of Guelph back in November.
In a joint op-ed in the Globe and Mail, Derek Burney, Canada’s former ambassador to the US, and global security expert Fen Osler Hampson argued that Trump’s stance on free trade could present itself as an opportunity for Canada.
“To offset the loss of TPP, Canada should swiftly accelerate negotiations of a comprehensive trade agreement with China, which is not a party to TPP and, at the same time, negotiate bilaterally elements already agreed in TPP with promising partners such as Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia.”