According to USTR.gov, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “writes the rules for global trade.” The TPP trade deal that began with the Obama administration was left unfinished, and now it doesn’t include the United States at all.
At the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump backed out of the TPP, eliminating U.S. involvement in the deal. However, Bill Lane, executive director for Trade for America, believes the TPP was a good agreement that could be made better if the United States was involved. “I think there was a sense of disbelief that the TPP would go forward without the U.S., but on January 1, it went forward,” Lane says.
According to Lane, the TPP does three things: 1) provides a sorely needed free trade deal with Japan, 2) offers a way to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement and 3) incorporates new areas of trade as far as medicines, electronics, etc. As it currently stands, without U.S. involvement, Canada and Australia have preferential market access in Japan.
Lane believes this will not be the end of the United States’ involvement in TPP. Last year, Trump was considering reviewing the deal again, but hasn’t mentioned it since that time. However, Lane thinks if a new president were to be elected in November 2020, he or she may look back into the deal. “Serious candidates for president will be talking about how we need to go back to the negotiating table and talk about re-entering the TPP,” Lane concludes.
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