What others say: Trans-Pacific Partnership has potential to bolster economy

  • Monday, October 19, 2015 9:01pm
  • Opinion

After more than five years of negotiation, the United States and five Asia-Pacific nations reached a potentially transformative trade deal last week that once again puts this country at the forefront of the global economy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, includes countries that account for 40 percent of the world economy. That alone makes the effort worthwhile, even if the details remain unknown. It is the biggest international trade deal ever negotiated, and probably the most complicated, containing more than 30 chapters on a bewildering array of trade issues, from patents to wildlife protection.

Until the full text is published — President Obama said it would be “soon” — precedent suggests it’s best to withhold a full embrace of the agreement. But what we do know at this point is that the deal has a number of advantages for American workers and consumers.

The proposal will end 18,000 tariffs on American products across the board, including automobiles, machinery, information technology and consumer goods. That will not only make it easier for U.S. products to compete in the vast area covered by this agreement, but it also will open new markets previously closed to U.S. goods. And that, in turn, leads to job creation inside U.S. borders and reduces the attraction of off-shoring jobs.

Previous agreements have been criticized for shortchanging labor and environmental standards, effectively giving other countries a pass even while the United States stayed true to higher standards. This one, Mr. Obama promised, attempts to learn from past mistakes by adding enforceable new provisions.

Thus, in what is probably a first, the measure won strong praise from environmentalists because it requires the pact’s signers to abide by existing treaties on the environment and also places new limits on wildlife trafficking and subsidies for illegal fishing. “We see this as a very big deal,” said David McCauley, an official of the World Wildlife Fund.

In an interview Tuesday, Mr. Obama conceded that TPP alone would not raise labor standards in countries like Vietnam to U.S. levels overnight, but it requires signatories to ban child labor in those countries …

No doubt, the pact will become fodder during the presidential campaign. Candidate Hillary Clinton has already registered her disapproval of TPP. Fair enough, as long as she and other candidates stick to the facts instead of indulging in phony scare tactics. If the pact lives up to Mr. Obama’s promises, it will bolster the U.S. economy and America’s position around the world.

— Miami Herald,

Oct. 10

More in Opinion

The official ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Division of Elections)
Voices of the Peninsula: Check out the ballot before you vote

This kind of ballot is not something you have seen before.

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party

State Sen. Josh Revak (Photo provided)
The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The hope is that the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) will come to the Senate floor for a vote

Michael Heimbuch attends a memorial service for the late Drew Scalzi on Aug. 5, 2005, at the Seafarers Memorial on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Point of View: King salmon: The clash of culture and science

People do some pretty awful things to king salmon stocks

Lieutenant governor candidate Edie Grunwald speaks at a Charlie Pierce campaign event at Paradisos restaurant in Kenai on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Election Integrity: An Alaskan question with an Alaskan answer

A needless round of feel-good meetings and what-if conversations will be a thing of the past

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

The cost of health insurance will rise substantially next year for about 13 million Americans

The offical ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Divison of Elections)
Opinion: Alaskans deserve an election system that represents our differences

The new system’s goal is to make this election cycle transparent, secure and easy for all Alaskans to vote

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell (Courtesy)
Opinion: UAA’s career certificates are helping to fill Alaska’s workforce pipeline

At UAA, we are announcing a new suite of certificate programs responding to some of the state’s most critical needs

Opinion: Remaining vigilant after 30 years

Exxon Valdez spurred both federal and state legislatures, the industry, and the public to come together