Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership just a bullet point on President Obama’s legacy?
Not since NAFTA has a trade agreement brought such contention, confusion, and strange bedfellows. To say that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is murky would be an understatement.
Progress made Saturday and Sunday seem to be pointing to a deal making its way to the next steps, but there are still roadblocks late on Sunday 24 hours past the proposed deadline. In New Zealand, which has its greatest interest in the deal coming in the form of dairy trade with North America, they have halted an announcement about the deal indefinitely.
— Jayant Menon (@jayantmenon) October 5, 2015
This shouldn’t worry supporters too much. It’s likely just a ploy to help finalize the deal.
Those against the agreement are the ones who should be worried. It appears that the biggest roadblock – the time allowed for intellectual property to remain exclusive to drug manufacturers – has been hurdled. The United States has been pushing for 12 years to encourage innovation while Australia has wanted 5 years to reduce costs more quickly.
— William Mauldin (@willmauldin) October 4, 2015
What’s the point? The hurry seems to be coming from the Americans and specifically from President Barack Obama. If an agreement can be reached now, the earliest it can come to a vote before Congress is next year. If it’s delayed, there’s a chance that the President will have to pass it on to his successor, something that he doesn’t want to see happen after seven years of poor economic and foreign relations performance. Passing the TPP would kill two legacy birds with one stone.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 5, 2015
The biggest problem with the deal is that it’s supposed to be an aggressive push against China, but the players involved seem to be in it for themselves. The reality of the situation is this: free trade is never really free.