Trans-Pacific Partnership: An Assessment
Edited by Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs and Jeffrey J. Schott
Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2016, 136 pp.
It took six years to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement among 12 countries, including the United States, three of its largest trading partners (Canada, Japan, and Mexico), and a number of developing countries in Asia and Latin America—but, pointedly, not China. The question of the deal’s likely effects has now become a major political issue in the United States: the TPP is the focal point in an epochal fight over the future of U.S. policy toward foreign trade and investment. Strong opposition to the agreement—neither major presidential candidate supports it—reflects the rise of populist-tinged antiglobalization and protectionism. Like all recent trade agreements, the TPP is excruciatingly complex and detailed, mostly as the result of special-interest influence. With this volume, a team of experts from the Peterson Institute for International Economics has produced an indispensable guide to the issue, one intended for nonspecialists. They look past the politics and describe and evaluate the deal’s most important attributes and implications: what it would do and, equally important, what it would not do. The team is not happy with everything the negotiations produced but believes that, on balance, the TPP will be overwhelmingly beneficial to the United States.