Regarding the Jan. 24 front-page article “Trump takes aim at trade deal, federal workers”:
President Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement could have many long-term negative economic consequences for the United States and other TPP nations.
As then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in vigorous defense of the TPP, “It is in our interest to be able to have a positive influence on the course of events in Asia.” He also noted in his remarks at the Wilson Center, where I was a visiting fellow, that the economies of the Pacific Rim are the fastest-growing in the world and said U.S. rejection of the TPP would badly damage U.S. credibility and national security. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the TPP is intended to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty” and “promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.” The finalized proposal would have established an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and helped to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade.
The Trump administration, so anxious to do away with international trade agreements, has done what Mr. Kerry warned against. It made this a partisan issue and seemingly failed to grasp the likely consequences of Mr. Trump’s action and how it could impact the delicate and complex global economic balance.
Jonathan H. Westover, Orem, Utah