(Ian Bremmer – Time)
“America First” is finally here… and it doesn’t look much different to what came before. But trade is the area we’re seeing the most obvious unwind of American global leadership. Here, a look at the current state of five major trade deals in the era of Trump’s “America First.”
The big Asia deal the U.S. walked away from
One of Trump’s first acts as President was to withdraw the U.S. from the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), a deal which would have governed the trade rules and practices of 12 countries and 40 percent of global GDP.
The deal, negotiated by the preceding Bush and Obama administrations, was intended (in part) to rein in Beijing’s economic ambitions by offering Asian countries a U.S.-led trade framework in which to do business. Then came the 2016 U.S. presidential season. Trump made TPP a focal point of his campaign, arguing that multilateral trade deals place the U.S. at a distinct disadvantage. Democrat Bernie Sanders made the same case, pushing Hillary Clinton to (reluctantly) follow suit.
At last week’s APEC summit, the remaining 11 members agreed to move forward on what they’re calling TPP-11. It will be smaller in scale (just 15 percent of the world economy will now fall under its purview), but the U.S. could one day rejoin if it wants. That’s unlikely under Trump, but it’s possible under his successor. Click here to read more.