Musings —06.28.2017 11:44 AM—
Full story here.
These investors, trade experts and government officials are still stunned by an event that got next to no attention in the U.S. but was an earthquake out here — and a gift that will keep on giving America’s allies pain and China gain for years to come. That was Trump’s decision to tear up the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade deal in his first week in office — clearly without having read it or understanding its vast geo-economic implications.
(Trump was so ignorant about TPP that when he was asked about it in a campaign debate in November 2015 he suggested that China was part of it, which it very much is not.)
Trump simply threw away the single most valuable tool America had for shaping the geo-economic future of the region our way and for pressuring China to open its markets. Trump is now trying to negotiate trade openings with China alone — as opposed to negotiating with China as the head of a 12-nation TPP trading bloc that was based on U.S. values and interests and that controlled 40 percent of the global economy.
It is hard to think of anything more stupid. And China’s trade hard-liners are surely laughing in their sleeves.