Grading the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Trade

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has severe weaknesses as a trade agreement. It offers both commercial and diplomatic benefits, but its value is undermined by extensive nonconforming measures, by rules of origin that risk blocking gains from both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and future deals, and by grossly inadequate treatment of state-owned enterprises. Many American business groups may see the TPP as an improvement over current global rules and therefore worthwhile for individual issues, but they will typically not consider the national interest. Within the next decade, some TPP rules could become anchors holding the US back. To get where the US needs to go, current TPP terms will have to be changed considerably. Ratifying the existing TPP can make the path only more difficult.

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