Dec 17, 2020Liked by Claire Berlinski, Vivek Y. Kelkar

Congratulations on the first edition! An interesting and unsettling article.

I know the ins and outs of why it wasn't very popular aren't the point of the article, but I have to say, you guys do a better job selling the TPP than anybody I saw writing about it at the time - I don't think I've previously seen a picture of the possible TPP future that was even half as well (or positively) painted.

From a software industry perspective here in the antipodes, few were happy with being forced into an American-style (perceived as encouraging rent-seeking and discouraging innovation) IP framework, or with a dispute resolution mechanism that allowed corporate interests to challenge parliamentary decisions. It's one thing for a state to give up sovereignty in some area as part of a treaty with other states, but it feels like something else to cede sovereignty to corporations.

Removing or softening those two provisions might have gone quite a way in reducing opposition in several countries, and in turn that might have got the thing over the line earlier, before Trump.

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I don’t know if this major strategic blunder was all Trump’s fault. Wasn’t Hillary Clinton also talking about backing out of the TPP? Isolationism and parochial thought seem to be dominating both major parties right now.

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Mr. Kelkar fails to note that it wasn’t Donald Trump who deep-sixed the TPP, it was the Democratic Party which killed the deal. As popular as he was amongst the Democrats, Obama searched high and low for Democrats in the House and Senate to support the deal. They were nowhere to be found.

He also fails to note that before Covid, under Trump the US economy was a rip roaring success. That success was not impeded in the least by the failure to join the agreement.

Given the disaster of NAFTA and the deindustrialization of the American heartland that it caused, how could any reasonable American be expected to support TPP?

Mr. Kelkar surely knows that China’s rise was facilitated by allowing the communist nation to join an international treaty organization under Bill Clinton. Is it any wonder that working class Americans don’t trust international agreements negotiated by elites who have nothing but disdain for people who earn a living by the sweat of their brow?

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Congratulations for the first edition! Looking forward for the next!

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I 'Liked' this article. Even though I found it profoundly depressing...

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