Anti-China TPP rhetoric is wrong

“As we speak, China is negotiating a trade deal that would carve up some of the fastest-growing markets in the world at our expense, putting American jobs, businesses and goods at risk.”

Actually this is not the way the economy works. If China reduces trade barriers with other countries in Asia, allowing the region to grow more rapidly, then it should also make the United States more prosperous. The region would be a bigger source of demand for U.S. exports and a more efficient provider of goods and services to the United States. That was exactly the logic of the Marshall Plan that helped to rebuild West Europe after World War II. Greater economic integration in the region, even if engineered in part by China, is something that the United States should applaud, not fear.

In short, there is not a credible story that the TPP will be a big boost to U.S. prosperity. It does pose a threat to the countries of the region (including the United States) in the form of higher prices for prescription drugs and other protected items. It also creates a whole new extra-judicial system that can threaten regulations designed for important public purposes.

This is hard deal to sell, which probably explains why President Obama is trying to promote fears of China. That should not be allowed to help his case.

President Obama Pushes a Weak Case on TPP