Trading In On Trade
President Trump takes aim at trade:
Trump promised many times on the campaign trail that he would make the move, calling it a potential disaster for the country and maintaining that the deal is unfair to American workers. In June 2016, he said of TPP, “It’s a rape of our country. It’s a harsh word, but that’s what it is – rape of our country.”The era of fair trade begins?
TPP is a trade agreement between 12 countries situated along the Pacific Ocean, not including China, that was negotiated for seven years and finally signed in February 2016, though it has not yet been ratified by Congress. Most international trade agreements are ratified by a fast-track Congressional yes/no vote, but Congress has intentionally left TPP out of negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in August 2016 of the trade agreement, “It can be massaged, changed, worked on during the next administration.”
Because Congress has not done anything to ratify the long-negotiated agreement, Trump’s executive order could unilaterally remove the country from the trade deal. If the United States is removed from the agreement, the agreement will likely dissolve. The final chapter of TPP states that the agreement can only be implemented if six of the original 12 countries have ratified it, and those countries participating must represent 85 percent of the combined GDP of the original 12 countries.