Commentary

Trump and Clinton’s free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world’s economic future | US news | The Guardian

(THE GUARDIAN) August 20, 2016 — Never before have both main presidential candidates broken so completely with Washington orthodoxy on globalization, even as the White House refuses to give up. The problem, however, goes much deeper than trade deals.

Enemies in politics and opposed on nearly all fronts, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have found themselves united together against Barack Obama and a tradition that has kept America in charge of the world economy’s rules for more than 70 years. The next president of the United States is rethinking free trade.

In Washington, that tradition was taken for granted for so long that it rarely attracted much attention even in the business press, let alone dominated the politics pages of an entire election season. But in 2016, America’s faltering faith in free trade has become the most sensitive controversy in DC – never before have both main presidential candidates broken with the orthodoxy that globalisation is always good for Americans.

The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), between 12 countries around the Pacific rim, excluding China, suddenlyfaces a wall of political opposition among lawmakers who had, not long ago, nearly set the giant deal in stone. Parallel negotiations between the US and Europe, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are suddenly even more behind: hamstrung by similar opposition as well as complications created by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

The White House has refused to give up, however, as it weighs the stakes of a system of multilateral deals largely invented by the US after the second world war. Before he left for his summer vacation, Obamapromised one last attempt to ratify TPP in the lame-duck session of Congress before he leaves office.

Source: Trump and Clinton’s free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world’s economic future | US news | The Guardian