Tag Archives: TPP

Talk on trade: TPP & Trump

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The ITC Wednesday released its mandated report on the economic effects estimated to result from the TransPacific Partnership.  As is usual in standard trade models, the estimated welfare gains may sound small: on the order of ¼ % of income.  But that would still be way worth doing.    Furthermore the ITC study, by design, leaves out a lot.  For example, the Petri-Plummer study from the Peterson Institute estimates income gains from TPP that are twice as large, in part because it takes into account Melitz-style opportunities for  more productive firms to expand.

I am quoted twice in the associated press coverage this week. They can be tweetably summarized in one sentence:
(1) US rejection of TPP would signal withdrawal from Asia; (2) US acceptance of Trump would signal withdrawal from the entire world!

(1)   One quote appeared in an Associated Press article (titled “Complex US politics of trade will follow Obama to Asia”):
“Many in Asia have come to think that maybe they can’t depend on us, that we’re withdrawing.  That feeling may be worse in this presidential election year,” says Professor Jeffrey Frankel of Harvard University‘s Kennedy School of Government. “The international relations aspect of this is if we don’t pass TPP, Asians are going to interpret it as a U.S. withdrawal from their region. And they’re going to get closer to China.”

(2) Another appeared in a Financial Times article today (titled “Obama fights back against Trump over US trade deals”):
“It is hard to believe he would really be able to follow through — much of it is illegal [and] contradicts US international agreements,” Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, said of Mr Trump’s economic agenda. “The global impact of that would be tearing down the entire postwar international . . . order.”  

 

 

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TPP Skeptics Should Switch Sides

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Now that the TPP text has been released, I have read at least some parts of it in detail.  It seems to me that it does what the negotiators said it does.  There is a lot to like in the way it came out that many of the critics seem not to know about.   I hope that those Democrats who have been fervently opposed to the TPP  — in particular some of the Massachusetts congressional delegation — will now consider it with an open mind!

I have an op-ed appearing in the  Boston Globe this week, making the case.

I don’t discuss the currency manipulation issue there, but have done so elsewhere.

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Full Legal Text of TPP is Now Available

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I have written a few columns this year supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  (E.g. “Critics Should Keep an Open Mind,” The Guardian, Oct. 11, 2015.)   Commentators on my column and critics of TPP more generally have expressed great eagerness to know when and where they could read the full legal text of the agreement.  The full text is now available.

Many skeptics seem confident in their ability to understand the significance of the detailed legal language even when they have only had a few hours to read it. I am less confident of that myself, not being a lawyer.  Fortunately there is also a user-friendly summary at the USTR site.

[Comments can be posted at Econbrowser.]

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