By Hunter Wallace
As expected, a deal has been reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is the largest free trade agreement in history:
“ATLANTA — The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific basin nations on Monday agreed after years of negotiations to the largest regional trade accord in history, an economic pact envisioned as a bulwark against China’s power and a standard-setter for global commerce, worker rights and environmental protection.
The announcement here that weary trade officials had finally agreed on the Trans-Pacific Partnership was merely “an important first step,” the United States trade representative, Michael B. Froman, said. Now their agreement faces months of debate in each of the 12 nations, including in Congress, where some bipartisan opposition was immediate. …”
The door is open for China to join later down the road:
“At the same time, Obama has not ruled out the idea of eventually bringing China into the TPP, saying in June that Beijing had “put out feelers” about joining the pact. …”
The Republican-controlled Congress gave Obama fast track authority to negotiate these free trade agreements over the summer. Under “fast track,” Congress surrenders its power to amend trade deals and a simple 51 vote majority is all that needed for passage in the Senate.
The previous free trade agreements – NAFTA, CAFTA, Peru, Colombia, Chile, South Korea – worked out so great for the American middle class and working class that Washington lobbyists decided we needed more of them. Aside from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, keep an eye on the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (Western Hemisphere) and the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (Europe). There will be more of these gargantuan free trade agreements coming down the pike.
Before it is done with, everyone you know will be trying to become a dentist, a nurse, or a firefighter.