Just a day after Donald Trump sounded a strangely conciliatory tone after meeting with President Obama to discuss Obamacare (in what proved to be a startling shift in tone and fervor on the part of Trump), we learn that the proposed Obama-backed TPP trade agreement which would have linked the United States and much of Asia, is dead, a victim of the inevitable Republican empowerment tide headed our way this upcoming political season, and spearheaded by Donald Trump himself.
The failure to pass the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership—by far the biggest trade agreement in more than a decade—is a bitter defeat for President Barack Obama, whose belated but fervent support for freer trade divided his party and complicated the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The White House had lobbied hard for months in the hope of moving forward on the pact if Mrs. Clinton had won.
Just over a year ago, Republicans were willing to vote overwhelmingly in support of Mr. Obama’s trade policy. But as the political season approached and voters registered their concerns by supporting Donald J. Trump, the GOP reacted coolly to the deal Mr. Obama’s team reached with Japan and 10 others countries just over a year ago in Atlanta.
Winning a majority of votes for the TPP in the House and Senate would have required both a last-minute deal to address Republican priorities and an election result that didn’t show such broad discontent.
In the House, Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), the chairman of the committee that oversees trade, said in a statement Wednesday that “this important agreement is not ready to be considered during the lame duck and will remain on hold until President Trump decides the path forward.”
Meaning that TPP is dead, at least as we know it.
The presumed election of Hillary Clinton would have cemented the trade deal, but I can’t help but suspect that Donald Trump has begun leveraging his President-elect status to craft his own deals and it would seem this acquiescence to strategic fragments of Obamacare is probably correlated to TPP’s demise.
Rather than paint this as a refutation to all international trade, it should be viewed as establishment of a smarter trade policy that prioritizes the needs and interests of America before wantonly subscribing to reactive globalism which is what the Obama/Clinton/Democratic dynamic lusted after.