Anti-TPP demonstration. Paul Allen/Flickr

Why Support the TPP?

Agreement among negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries on the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a triumph over long odds. And now critics of the TPP’s ratification, particularly in the US, should read the agreement with an open mind.

CAMBRIDGE – Agreement among negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents a triumph over long odds. Tremendous political obstacles, both domestic and international, had to be overcome to conclude the deal. And now critics of the TPP’s ratification, particularly in the United States, should read the agreement with an open mind.

Many of the issues surrounding the TPP have been framed, at least in US political terms, as left versus right. The left’s unremitting hostility to the deal – often on the grounds that the US Congress was kept in the dark about its content during negotiations – carried two dangers. A worthwhile effort could have been blocked, or President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration could have been compelled to be more generous to American corporations, in order to pick up needed votes from Republicans. In fact, those concerned about labor rights and the environment risked hurting their own cause. By seeming to say that they would not support the TPP under any conditions, Obama had little incentive to pursue their demands.

Seen in this light, the TPP that has emerged is a pleasant surprise. The agreement gives pharmaceutical firms, tobacco companies, and other corporations substantially less than they had asked for – so much so that US Senator Orrin Hatch and some other Republicans now threaten to oppose ratification. Likewise, the deal gives environmentalists more than they had bothered to ask for.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/pHHP4FZ;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.