It appears the entire ‘ObamaTrade’ farce is collapsing under the weight of its secrecy and corporatocracy in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s triumph. First this morning, Bloomberg reported that EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said EU-U.S. negotiations on a free-trade agreement are on hold, and now WSJ reports that the Obama administration on Friday gave up all hope of enacting its sweeping Pacific trade agreement, denting American prestige in the regions at a time when China is flexing its economic and military muscle.
Just days after Donald Trump won the election, all of Washington’s major trade deals are dead or dying.
You have the Canadian Prime Minister and his Mexican counterpart that are now saying, “hey buddies… hey United States… we want to renegotiate NAFTA.”
…Maybe, just maybe, we might actually have a little bit of justice… he hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet.
Trump lashed out at market-opening initiatives such as the planned Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, during his successful campaign to succeed U.S. President Barack Obama. Trump, the Republican Party’s candidate, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.
“With the new president-elect, we don’t really know what will happen,” Malmstrom told reporters on Friday in Brussels. “There is strong reason to believe that there will be a pause in TTIP, that this might not be the biggest priority for the new administration.”
The EU and U.S. have spent three years working on an accord to expand the world’s biggest economic relationship by eliminating tariffs on goods, enlarging services markets, opening public procurement and bolstering regulatory cooperation. Obama and European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called TTIP a policy priority.
Both sides have held 15 rounds of talks since 2013. The last round took place in October in New York.
“Whether it makes sense to have new rounds — well probably not,” Malmstrom said on Friday.
Just days after Donald Trump surprise victory, U.S. officials said Republican congressional leaders had made clear that they wouldn’t consider the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership in the remainder of Mr. Obama’s term. The White House had lobbied hard for months in the hope of moving forward on the pact if the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, had won.
The failure to pass what is by far the biggest trade agreement in more than a decade is a bitter defeat for Mr. Obama, whose belated but fervent support for freer trade divided his party and complicated the campaign of Mrs. Clinton.
The TPP’s collapse also dents American prestige in the region at a time when China is flexing its economic and military muscle.
The 2016 election season has shown that domestic concerns about globalization, the trade deficit and stagnant wages easily beat out the appetite for international engagement. The TPP became a symbol Washington pursuing policies that disproportionately favor wealthier Americans over ordinary workers. Mr. Trump blamed the TPP on special interests trying to “rape” the country.