The Rest of the Pacific Basin Doesn’t Need the US

The Story:

As the Davos conference got underway Tuesday January 23, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced that the 11 nations still in the Trans-Pacific Partnership will likely sign a revised agreement in early March. The subtext is: they don’t need U.S. permission in order to trade freely and profitably with one another.

Background: 

Exactly one year before  (January 23, 2017), the new President signed a Presidential memorandum withdrawing the United States from the TPP. During the campaign he criticized the agreement as a “disaster” and the consequence of “a leadership class that worships globalism over Americanism.”

More recently, though, the President has suggested that the United States might re-join TPP.

The Thing to Know:

Trade is not zero sum. It does not require that somebody win by virtue of someone else’s loss. Trade can well benefit all parties. Thus, freeing trade by multilateral agreements can serve all the parties to the deal, harming only those who exclude themselves.

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