President Trump signed an executive order that will withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is the largest planned regional trade accord in history, and was designed for the United States and 11 other nations in Asia and the Pacific to build a free trade zone. Its purpose was to lower tariffs, resolve trade disputes, and make patents safe, all while enhancing U.S. power in Asia.
The new administration has fulfilled Trump’s campaign promise, by changing America’s trade ties with other countries, and abandoning the TPP brokered by his predecessor. The withdrawal from multinational trade agreements stems from his belief that they “erode American jobs and opportunities”, and has had large geopolitical implications in Asia, and throughout the world.
Originally designed as an approach to countering China’s growing influence in Asia, the TPP gave the U.S. open markets abroad for services including finance, engineering, software, education, legal, and information technology, thus potentially raising the U.S. national income by $130 billion. However, President Trump believes that the best deals happen between two nations, not between a crowd of countries.
Critics of the policy change claim that quitting the TPP does not necessarily bring manufacturing and low-skill jobs back to the United States, but only shuts US doors in developing overseas markets. Supporters feel that the U.S. absence from the partnership will be good for many blue-collar workers, who are often forgotten amidst globalization trends.
The remaining TPP nations are set to regroup, and will probably bring China on board to reconstruct a new agreement. However, the effects of Trump’s decision to formally withdrawal the United States from the TPP will be felt for years, if not decades to come.