01 November 2016

Tyler Cohen Can't Convince His Own Pro-Free Trade Blog Readers That the TPP Is A Good Idea

If Tyler Cohen's latest Bloomberg Op-Ed piece in support of the TPP can't win over support in the comments from the largely pro-free trade, economically well informed readers of his blog, then it is no surprise that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a political and policy dud.

His readers are particularly critical of the roughly 4,000 pages of IP provisions in the treaty that he doesn't mention and widely unpopular extra-judicial international arbitration provisions of the deal, and have little good to say about its nebulous supposed tax cuts on exporters who don't clearly need the help. They also note that the benefits accruing from the deal aren't fairly shared and could worsen the situation for a large swath of Americans.

If those readers aren't fully informed about the treaty, that might have something to do with the completely untransparent process by which the 5,000 page plus treaty was negotiated and drafted.

Unsurprisingly, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump now oppose the TPP, even though Clinton was obliged to support the pro-TPP position of the Obama administration while serving as Secretary of State. Passing the treaty in a lame duck session of the U.S. Senate would be a slap in the face to the democratic process by undeserving plutocrats.  Fortunately, it is unlikely that two-thirds of U.S. Senators are going to take the unpopular stance (although I'm not very comfortable that Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennett wouldn't do so given his past behavior in office).

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