• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperInfrastructureShippingTrade and Compliance

Editorial: Risk of a TPP takedown

   It’s truly ironic that the country which led the charge to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement earlier this year may be the one that oversees its destruction.
   If you haven’t figured it out, we’re talking about the United States. This is the same country that stands to gain the most benefit from participating in such a wide-ranging free trade agreement that encompasses 11 other countries that line the Pacific basin. 
   On Feb. 3, the trade ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam signed the TPP. 
   TPP member countries comprise about 40 percent of global GDP and represent one-third of world trade. It took the 12 countries more than five years to negotiate the comprehensive trade agreement. The individual countries must now ratify the agreement for it to take effect. 
   Since the TPP’s signing, President Obama, now in his final months of office, and other industry supporters have tried to convince Congress to vote in favor of the agreement, but that appears unlikely with the approach of the presidential election. 
   TPP promises a number of trade benefits for U.S. exporters, including reduction or outright elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, increase in market access for agricultural products, new binding commitments in e-commerce, stricter controls for state-owned enterprises, strong trade enforcement, good governance standards, streamlined treatment of cross-border shipments, promotion of regulatory transparency, and support for small to midsized businesses.
   The International Trade Commission forecasts that U.S. exports related to TPP, if passed by Congress and the legislatures of the other 11 countries, will increase $57.2 billion by 2032.
   To be frank, failure to enact TPP would greatly harm U.S. interests, which extend beyond the economic benefits of lower tariffs and opening doors for U.S. companies in restrictive markets, according to experts. The Obama administration has tried to pivot its foreign policy towards Asia in recognition of its economic growth and technological dynamism, which is somewhat threatened by China’s aggressive posture. The TPP is seen by the Obama administration and its partners as a way of showing U.S. commitment to the region and upholding international law, free commerce and other shared values, as well as strengthening the U.S. defense posture.
   However, both Democrat and Republican presidential candidates said they oppose U.S. ratification of TPP, pandering to anti-trade groups and threatening to unravel all that’s potentially good long term about TPP for the U.S. economy. 
   No matter who steps into the White House, American shippers need to work hard now more than ever through their trade associations to try to convince Capitol Hill lawmakers to stay the course on approving TPP, hopefully with the goal of ultimately swaying the next administration to support the trade agreement.
   However, as Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned in an early August interview with the Washington Post, “A position taken in an election cannot be lightly unspoken.” Indeed the world is watching the United States and backtracking on TPP now will setback the country’s future free trade endeavors for years to come.

  Chris Gillis is Editor of American Shipper. He can be reached by email at cgillis@shippers.com.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

We are glad you’re enjoying the content

Sign up for a free FreightWaves account today for unlimited access to all of our latest content

By signing in for the first time, I give consent for FreightWaves to send me event updates and news. I can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.