The master negotiator at work

The master negotiator at work

by digby

Of course he is...

March 8, 2018:

Eleven Asia-Pacific countries have just signed the trade pact formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Although the US pulled out last year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago.

Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Munoz said the agreement was a strong signal "against protectionist pressures, in favour of a world open to trade".

The deal covers a market of nearly 500 million people, despite the US pullout.

In the absence of the US, it has been renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Extraneous adjectives aside, its supporters say it's hugely significant, and could be a model for future trade deals.

What does it do?
Its main purpose is to slash trade tariffs between member countries.

But it also seeks to reduce so-called non-tariff measures, which create obstacles to trade through regulations.

There are chapters which aim to harmonise these regulations, or at least make them transparent and fair.

There are also commitments to enforce minimum labour and environmental standards.

It also includes a controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, which allows companies to sue governments when they believe a change in law has affected their profits.

Who's in it?

In alphabetical order: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The US is conspicuously absent.

Could he rejoin? Possibly. But being schmaht as a whip as he is, by pulling out they ended up doing this:

However, the revised agreement dropped about 20 of the original provisions (mostly those insisted on by the US), suggesting a US re-entry would require some intense negotiation.

Trump pulls out, they eliminate the provisions the Obama administration insisted upon and now Trump wants to rejoin. So the best case scenario is that he has to fight to bring it back to where it was but knowing him, the most likely outcome is that he'll make it much worse. Great.

Sounds about right. Why anyone listened to him blather incoherently about trade and thought he knew any more than what he heard back in 2007 about the yellow peril buying up America, weren't listening.