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Trump Proposes Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership (nytimes.com) 315

According to The New York Times, "President Trump told a gathering of farm state lawmakers and governors on Thursday morning that he was directing his advisers to look into rejoining the multicountry trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source)." The TPP was a contentious issue during the 2016 presidential election as both Democrats and Republicans attacked it. After signaling during the election that he would pull out of the trade deal "on day one" of his presidency, Trump followed through with his plans. From the report: Rejoining the 11-country pact could be a significant change in fortune for many American industries that stood to benefit from the trade agreement's favorable terms and Republican lawmakers who supported the pact. The deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration, was largely viewed as a tool to prod China into making the type of economic reforms that the United States and others have long wanted. Both Democrats and Republicans attacked the deal during the president campaign, but many business leaders were disappointed when Mr. Trump withdrew from the agreement, arguing that the United States would end up with less favorable terms attempting to broker an array of individual trade pacts and that scrapping the deal would empower China.

Mr. Trump's decision to reconsider the deal comes as the White House tries to find ways to protect the agriculture sector, which could be badly damaged by the president's trade approach. The risk of an escalating trade war with China has panicked American farmers and ranchers, who send many of their products abroad. China has responded to Mr. Trump's threat of tariffs on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese goods by placing its own tariffs on American pork, and threatening taxes on soybeans, sorghum, corn and beef. Many American agriculturalists maintain that the easiest way to help them is to avoid a trade war with China in the first place. And many economists say the best way to combat a rising China and pressure it to open its market is through multilateral trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which create favorable trading terms for participants.

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Trump Proposes Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership

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  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @06:14PM (#56427493)

    This is why I don't worry about President Trump if the democrats recover the house (and in in the unlikely event they recover the senate too).

    He will immediately throw the republican party under the bus to join the winning side.

    He has no principles except, "Make money for Trump", "Avoid russia revealing whatever it is they have on Trump", and "Have affairs with women who look like Ivanka as long as I can get it up."

  • Both Democrats and Republicans attacked the deal during the president campaign, but many business leaders were disappointed when Mr. Trump withdrew from agreement

    Try English, BeauHD.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @06:18PM (#56427507)
    The entire purpose of TPP was to create a countervailing economic force against China's influence in Asia and the world economy. That was obvious to anyone who read even a few pages about TPP, but of course that's too much to ask of someone who is unwilling to read even a single page of non-bulleted text [axios.com]:

    "Trump said he likes his briefings short, ideally one-page if it's in writing. "I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don't need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you."
    • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @07:07PM (#56427755)
      And that "countervailing force" also happened to enable businesses to force more power into the hands of international conglomerates, away from workers, and away from environmental protections. China is just a scapegoat to allow for that bullshit
      • Which is the lesser evil:

        - Taking away power from US workers and giving it to international corporations to interlink our economy with S. Asian ones, there by ensuring our military presence in the region and the propagation of democracy

        OR

        - Protecting workers rights, but also not being able to defend those same workers against Chinese backed N. Korean assaults on our allies in the region, and on our own soil

        ?

        It's not an easy choice, but given how unpopular it was, and the the fact that he wasn't u

      • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

        Let's see, what are the main complaints right now about how China treats foreign businesses?

        1. Require joint-venture. Oh right, US companies can now sue the TPP governments who try to pull this BS.
        2. State aid towards domestic companies? See above.
        3. No labor or environmental standards so that they're waaay more price competitive than a first-world nation? Taken care of.

        This "corporations doing their corporationy things is corporate-bad" mentality some people have is confounding. Do you or do you not want A

        • I don't give a fuck about the success of American businesses, and certainly don't care about their dominance. The best places to live are not dominant at all. Successful businesses mean nothing to me as an American citizen or a human being. Hell, I want a good chunk of the Fortune 500 companies to be split up.
        • Uhhh...we have been able to sue Chinese corps for how many decades now? And exactly what effect has that had on them? Oh yeah jack with a side of shit [chinalawblog.com].

          You can sue foreign powers all you want pal, doesn't mean they are gonna give a single flying flipping fuck what you think, not unless you are willing to go full on protectionist and stop trading with them cold.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by sexconker ( 1179573 )

      That was obvious to anyone who read even a few pages about TPP

      Really? You mean the fucking pages they kept locked away, monitored by armed guards 24/7, and prevented most congress members from actually reading?
      Fuck off, shill.

      TPP is trash.

    • See here [epi.org]. This in turn makes it easier to outsource. The reason TPP was and is so unpopular is that it's designed to make it easier to outsource jobs. Especially tech jobs, like the ones people here on /. have.

      TPP is no friend of the American worker. Which is why I'm not at all surprised a wealthy plutocrat like Trump would favor it. What I am surprised is how much the Trump presidency is beginning to look like the Hilary presidency. If you'll recall she was in favor of TPP until pressure from the Bernie
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Crap, the TPP was a grab for total power by multinational corporations. It seems to be going smoother now without the US, what makes you think, they want the US back in again. Stuff is now missing that the US corporations demanded and besides nothing is past government anywhere. It might well all still die and get the US back in and it certainly will die because 'THE US MUST DOMINATE, THEY ARE THE EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE', yeah fuck off.

    • by goose-incarnated ( 1145029 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @03:20AM (#56429503) Journal

      The entire purpose of TPP was to create a countervailing economic force against China's influence in Asia and the world economy. That was obvious to anyone who read even a few pages about TPP, but of course that's too much to ask of someone who is unwilling to read even a single page of non-bulleted text [axios.com]: "Trump said he likes his briefings short, ideally one-page if it's in writing. "I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don't need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you."

      So you prefer 200-page reports on something that can be handled by a page? Why?

  • I love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @06:22PM (#56427535) Homepage

    ...how he thinks the other 11 countries, who went ahead without the US and have completed a deal of their own, are going to suddenly reopen negotiations just because he wants them to.

    • Remember "USA First" ?
      Well here's the fucking shocker, everyone else went "USA Last".

      If anything, lets make it a competitive bid between the USA and China, the other TPPA signatories also believe "No deal is better than a bad deal" so they may as well get the best deal they can which will mean the USA loosing a lot of ground on what the previous agreement could have been. So NO, you can no longer give huge subsidies to your agricultural industry, no copyright can not get longer, nor can patents, etc etc
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Solandri ( 704621 )
      The U.S. is a major, in some cases the largest, trading partner with these countries. While a trade agreement among themselves was desirable, the U.S. was and still is the big fish. This isn't like dating, where you can hold a grudge and totally ignore someone who jilted you. There are deep economic ties between these countries which continue to exist with or without a trade agreement, and stand to be improved with a good agreement. They will want to include the U.S. in the trade agreement if the U.S. i
  • We'll see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @06:25PM (#56427551)

    You can never predict, from week to week, what his position on something will be. So before we all overreact - either in favor, or against - let's see if this actually is a sign his position is changing, or just another off-the-cuff remark his assistants will be walking back in the next few days.

  • TPP vs CPTPP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @06:38PM (#56427573)
    Pulling out of the TPP was the one thing that i actually agreed with Trump on and that i was happy he followed through on.

    However my concern was about the IP chapter of the provisions, which the EFF (among others) took a firm stance against [eff.org].

    However since the US pulled out of the TPP the remaining countries had to negotiate a new treaty, the "Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership", or CPTPP.

    At first glance [eff.org] it seems like most of the offensive portions on IP law were removed from the CPTPP. (Which isn't that surprising, since most of those items were favored by the large media conglomerates located in the US, and with the US out of the deal they probably no longer had a strong champion.)

    _If_ that is indeed true, and _if_ the negotiations necessary for the US to join wouldn't involve reinstating those terms, i would tentatively be in favor of this, but it wouldn't break my heart if Trump flip-flops on the issue again or the other signatories no longer have any interest in letting the US in.
    • Re:TPP vs CPTPP (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @07:26PM (#56427839) Homepage Journal

      I actually read, not the full TPP treaty, but the executive summaries for each section of the treaty, which was still a lot of reading but possible for a person to do in his spare time over a couple of weeks.

      The treaty was a mixed bag, but which parts you consider good or bad depended on where you stood on things like environmental and labor protections, vs. things like stricter intellectual property rules. Take out the stricter IP rules and the treaty looks a lot better to a lot of people.

      Now one thing that's interesting if you look at who was in on the TPP, China isn't included. That's because the whole point of the TPP was to counter the growing influence of China. That's definitely a good thing for the US.

    • But WE don't want US copyright, patent, and overly aggressive persecution of offenders.

      There is no reason to let the neighbourhood bully back into the game.
    • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

      If you're main concern is truly to allow non-hollywood-like control of IP. I can understand. Which also means you likely have little issue with China's rather...lax view of IP.

      But from a US power and influence standpoint, it would've been a small price to pay (after all Hollywood is primarily an American phenomenon) to contain the only other superpower that could challenge the US.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        But as the events following the U.S. withdrawal show, it was an entirely unnecessary price.

      • by Geof ( 153857 )

        I find it sadly ironic that at the moment when U.S. power is waning, after waxing under a regime of relatively weak IP protections (they only implemented the Berne Convention in 1989! a century late!), when China has started to invest hugely in research, has created a dynamic technology industry, and is starting to buy its way into entertainment: I say, it is at this moment of the changing-of-the-guard that the U.S. is writing ever stronger IP laws in the erroneous view that international rules, once made,

    • Pulling out of the TPP was the one thing that i actually agreed with Trump on and that i was happy he followed through on.

      Indeed, though something told me it wasn't going to last. Australian Liberals are to blame, they started pushing the TPP with Japan and it gained momentum from there.

      This is the play, say it's dead so everyone lets their guard down and then push it through while the politicians high five each other about how skillfully they deceived the electorate. It's difficult to believe that any of them read all 6000 pages of the TPP. As for public debate - hahahahha, what's that?

      As for the IP provisions of the TPP,

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @08:06PM (#56428063) Journal

        s/our country/your country/g

        Honourable Members of the Committee,

        There is no more appropriate framing for context for the TPP than an anonymous poem from the 1700's:

        They hang the man and flog the woman
        That steal the goose from off the common
        But let the greater villain loose
        That steal the common from the goose

        This surprising wisdom from our past innocently unveils the nature of the TPP which, disguised as a trade agreement, contains a scaffolding for laws that converts the rights of ordinary citizens to capital. Indeed, optimal implementation of the TPP and it's associated agreement TISA seek the right for Limited Liability Companies, Incorporated businesses and Corporations to convert "The Common" into capital.

        It's very construction has sought to avoid any public scrutiny and has been carried out in secret for years. It's product is a monolithic 6000 page agreement presented to the Parliament in a manner, rushed if possible, that has sought to avoid the scrutiny of Government bodies whose purpose is to analyse if it is in the Public good. With impunity the purveyors of the TPP have desperately sought to avoid the scrutiny of the general public and many organisations committed to maintaining many public interests.

        How can any reasonable person conclude that such an agreement has been constructed with good will towards the very communities it seeks to interact with, the populous of our country and indeed the populous of every country that is a signatory.

        It is disappointing that our elected representatives have passed this treaty without allowing the public more time to absorb it's ramifications. This entire treaty should be rejected and removed from further consideration as a treaty that our country has to abide by.

        Our Constitution says that we are to be governed by the principles of 'Responsible Government'. How can ratifying a treaty into law that allows for profit entities to bypass the community standards be 'Responsible Government'? Indeed, from that perspective how is implementing the TPP compatible with the principles of our Constitution? Is it responsible to pass a treaty that has avoided the scrutiny of the many competent organisations that have the capability to asses it? How can it be Constitutional to allow corporate members of the community to bypass the Judicature of our country in a manner that effectively abdicates our sovereignty? The TPP seeks to do this by introducing articles that seek to control the behaviour of our nation's government via mechanisms that punish the taxpayer for passing law made for the good of the community.

      • There is only tacit recognition of the public domain and it's importance to commerce and the global economy. In fact it is public domain software, known as "Open Source" software (Source code being a concept mentioned in the Electronic Commerce section) that is responsible for the existence of the modern Internet and both major phone platforms.

        Some licences are permissive and others are not. These licences exist for a reason selected by the creators of software so that the software created is only used in

      • Investor State Dispute Mechanisms facilitate means for corporations to bypass the laws of the communities they operate in. The TPP seeks to place these entities beyond the reach of the law in a manner that threatens the very structure of our democracy. This is by far the most troubling article amongst so many other troubling things that the TPP seeks to achieve.

        How is it responsible government to even entertain the possibility of the taxpayer compensating for profit entities for having to comply with commu

      • Small Business do not have access to the ISDS process to settle disputes with larger business. Small business is not excluded from participating in the TPP's benefits however it is specifically excluded from dispute settlement mechanisms. The possibility of larger businesses enforcing monopolistic practices has to be considered as a consequence of this lack of access.

        Transparency and AntiCorruption Chapter 26 It is guiling that the TPP forces our country to provide advance notice and a reasonable opportuni

    • for outsourcers. There are provisions designed to protect their investments. The lack of those protections is one of the main things keeping jobs here in the states. TPP is no friend of me, or anyone else who works in tech. And this being /. that should be most of us.
  • I'm liking the new completely unhinged, pants-shitting crazy Donald Trump. It's like watching John Belushi's last films. You knew he wasn't going to last much longer, and nothing could be done to save him from himself, but it was going to be an entertaining ride down to the end.

    For example, yesterday Trump tweeted out this:

    "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners wit

  • Lovely. Next he is requesting to join the EU partnership program next to tunesia, turkey and south africa. Why work out a mutual trade agreement when you can also join an established one?

  • MADD | Mothers Against Drunk Driving may take issue with the law as some big bar chain can say the 21 and up rule hurts our sales and sue the usa under the investor–state dispute court.

  • I would be fun to see Trump put a 50% tariff on electronic devices from China

    It would force all the "designed in USA, made in China" companies to move manufacturing back to USA

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