Like it or not, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is good for investment and uncertain for industry
By Abhirup Bhunia
It has been on the table for over a decade and is now in the advanced—and potentially last—stage of global negotiations. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade and investment deal of enormous scope led by the U.S. and involving 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam), which together command over 40 percent of the global economy.
No other trade deal in history has been so polarizing in nature, with opinions ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other. The final text of the deal has not yet been released, but speculation has been replaced by certainties as various draft documents have been leaked and experts have weighed in. The conclusions are not yet final, but it is certain this deal is pro-big business, better for some industries than others, and designed strategically to compete with China.
The Free Trade Argument
The economic impacts of TPP can be further dissected into the effects it will have on capital and labor. Some have criticized the secrecy of the deal for being undemocratic (see “The TPP: America’s Most Wanted Secret” in this issue of The Global Intelligence), but much of the criticism that has come the TPP’s way are allegations that the deal is vehemently pro-big capital.
Unfortunately, not all so-called pro-Left arguments hold up. Even Leftist economists cannot ignore the role of growth-oriented economic policies in fostering the massive development in the past one-and-a-half decades, particularly in China and India, where hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty by anything but socialist economics.
The TPP builds on …
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