An ambitious free trade agreement between twelve Pacific Rim countries could mirror NAFTA negotiations, with added wrinkles from China and new technologies.
U.S. trade delegations are currently reaching across both Pacific and Atlantic oceans to negotiate two massive free trade agreements. The first, with the European Union, has been moving ahead steadily and (with the exception of the row over U.S. surveillance of European heads of state) has met only the predictable sticking points, such as how countries will be able to shelter domestic agriculture from the pressures of international free trade.
The other set of negotiations, however, is anything but ordinary. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) joins twelve Pacific Rim countries, from Chile to Australia to Vietnam, with the notable exception of China. If enacted, the TPP would cover 40 percent of the U.S.’s international trade. These negotiations bring together a set of countries that vary widely in their wealth…
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