Evolving TPP Free Trade Pact Not Thoroughly Modern

The Trans-Pacific Partnership's evolving free trade agreement smacks of 20th Century protectionism with recent efforts by the Obama administration to quell Japanese concern about entering the TPP fray. Mr. President, with all due respect, either do it right or go home.

Over the past few years, the White House has harbored the delusion that the evolving TPP pact would be a 21st Century free trade agreement -- the gold standard for treaties to come. Nothing could be further from the truth in light of reports that the U.S. has agreed to take the auto sector off the table to lure Japan into the TPP web. Ugh.

"From the beginning of the TPP negotiation process , the Obama administration has emphasized that, if completed, this deal would be a so called 21st Century free trade agreement. This rubric is meant to imply that it would be a thoroughly free market deal with none of the fudges and exclusions that have marked virtually all previous free trade agreements," wrote American Jobs Alliance board member Clyde Prestowitz in a recent Foreign Policy magazine blog.

Instead, Obama caved despite his administration's insistence that "all participants in the talks agree up front that no sectors of the economy be excluded from the liberalization negotiations and that all participants be prepared to agree to remove all tariffs," Prestowitz added.

By agreeing to Japan's demands so it could bring another major economy into the TPP picture, the Obama administration has resofted to 20th Century ways.

"In doing so, the White House is inevitably signaling that, in fact, the deal won't be gold plated. There will likely be some exclusion or some fudge that will allow some level of continued protection in so called sensitive sectors. If so, we'll be looking at an old style 20th century kind of deal for the 21st century," Prestowitz concluded.

Read all about it: http://atfp.co/ZcN3Tk.