That mammoth trade deal, which spans a dozen Pacific Rim nations from the U.S. and Canada to Japan and Australia, took seven years to negotiate and would lower tariffs and other trade barriers and make it easier to settle disputes.
The accord’s chances have greatly dimmed as the issue of free trade took center stage on the campaign trail thanks to the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, uniting much of the right and left against another deal that could cost Americans jobs. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has said she now opposes it as well, potentially making the lame duck session following the presidential election its only chance for passage.
Obama has been urging his allies to ignore the noise and get it approved quickly, despite their own domestic opposition.
We’ve been closely examining the TPP and free trade in recent months to help readers better understand what’s in it and what’s at stake. Here’s a roundup of some of our articles from the U.S. and our colleagues elsewhere.
America turns against trade
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is one of the biggest accomplishments of Obama’s second term, writes Charles Hankla of Georgia State. Can it survive the anti-trade tide in the race to replace him?
In 1872, free traders split with the young Republican Party, ran a third-party candidate against Ulysses S. Grant and sparked 100 years of GOP protectionism. University of Exeter’s Marc-William Palen wonders: is history repeating itself?
Michigan State’s Tomas Hult notes how the signing of the TPP belies the fact that the U.S.‘s share of trade in the Asia-Pacific region has been declining for some time.
What’s in it and what’s the problem
Texas A&M’s Peter Yu argues that the trade deal can and should be improved to create better safeguards in the mechanism that allows investors to sue states.
TPP negotiations have been covered in secrecy, and now as details have been released it only shows a wider democratic deficiency, argues Jean-Paul Gagnon of the University of Canberra.
While the TPP has come under attack for its environmental credentials, University of Melbourne’s Margaret Young sees hope for the fight against overfishing.
Japanese farmers worry that the TPP will open the doors to a flood of rice from the U.S. that will end their way of life, writes Bryant University’s Nicole Freiner, who spent time with the farmers.
Other countries weigh in
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has directly lobbied United States legislators to pass the TPP, according to Michelle Grattan of the University of Canberra.
Japan’s decision to lower or eliminate tariffs on rice, pork and beef may end up giving the prime minister a headache as he tries to get the trade accord through parliament, writes Freiner of Bryant.
Some say the TPP was designed specifically to exclude or even encircle China. Texas A&M’s Yu asks, do its leaders care?