Monday, January 23, 2017

buh bye TPP

I know this is just one really small symptom of the unexpected turn that my country has taken since November. One year ago the TPP was basically a sure thing. Hell, just three months ago I would have called it a sure thing. It may have been the only issue that President Obama and the Republican Congress agreed upon and Congress gave the President "fast track" authority to get it ratified with minimal debate.

Even when both presidential candidates were railing against the TPP in the general election campaign, I was pretty confident that either the lame-duck Congress would ratify the TPP in December or, if they did not get to it, it would get ratified fairly early in the Hillary Clinton presidency (with Clinton flip-flopping on the TPP issue).

Now everything is completely different. While the lame duck Republican Congress could have ramming through TPP during their lame duck session, there was not advantage for them to do such a clear open challenge to their incoming president, plus they had more important things to do, like trying to ram through Trump's unqualified cabinet picks and laying the groundwork for an ACA repeal. Whether or not Trump really formally withdraws from the TPP today, it is abundantly clear that the TPP is dead, at least U.S. participation in the deal is (I don't know how viable it is without the U.S.) Trump's election really has upset the apple cart on everything.