By Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury
KUALA LUMPUR and SYDNEY, Jul 19 2022 (IPS) - Joining or ratifying dubious trade deals is supposed to offer miraculous solutions to recent lacklustre economic progress. Such naïve advocacy is misleading at best, and downright irresponsible, even reckless, at worst.
TPP ‘pivot to Asia’
US President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ after his 2012 re-election sought to check China’s sustained economic growth and technological progress. Its economic centrepiece was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
But the US International Trade Commission (ITC) doubted the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and other exaggerated claims of significant TPP economic benefits in mid-2016, well before US President Donald Trump’s election.
The ITC report found projected TPP growth gains to be paltry over the long-term. Its finding was in line with the earlier 2014 findings of the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, many US manufacturing jobs have been lost to corporations automating and relocating abroad. Worse, Trump’s rhetoric has greatly transformed US public discourse. Many Americans now blame globalization, immigration, foreigners and, increasingly, China for the problems they face.
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