Adding to the increasing evidence that President Trump has no business going to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, 11 countries have just gone ahead and signed a trade agreement that excludes the United States. Were it not for President Trump, the United States would also be a signatory on a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. According to Bloomberg News:
The 11 members of a Pacific trade pact abandoned by U.S. President Donald Trump have reached a deal on a revised agreement, with the nations expecting to sign a final deal by early March. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday negotiations had concluded on what is now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal was reached after two days of talks in Tokyo, and came just hours after Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines — his first major move to level what he says is a global playing field tilted against U.S. companies.
The 11 countries in the trade pact are, in alphabetical order, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Speaking today from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, according to Bloomberg News, “The agreement reached in Tokyo today is the right deal. Our government stood up for Canadian interests and this agreement meets our objectives of creating and sustaining growth, prosperity and well-paying middle-class jobs today and for generations to come.” Trudeau understands that there is both mutual and individual country gain from such trade pacts, as does most of the rest of the world.
President Trump, however, is instead pursuing his isolationist America First agenda. Trump will be going to the World Economic Forum, too, but not to sign trade agreements – instead he will be giving a speech promoting that America First agenda of his. Expect that message not to fall on receptive ears. The whole point of the forum is cooperation, not isolationism, selfishness, and bombastic displays of narcissism.
It’s hard to miss that the timing of the deal reached today on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership coincides both with Trump’s impending visit to the World Economic Forum and with Trump’s imposition of tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines.
The United States is missing out on quite a lot with Trump’s abandonment of the trade pact.
According to Shareblue Media, the Australian government asserts that the new trade pact will “eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a free-trade zone, with a combined GDP of $13.7 trillion.” We are also missing out on the positive, stabilizing effect of having mutually beneficial trade and environmental agreements with other countries. Trump of course also backed out of the Paris Climate Accords, making the United States now the only country not to be a signatory. President Trump’s “America First” agenda is hurting America, isolating it from the rest of the world and making it so other countries just move ahead without us.
President Trump’s upcoming “America First” speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland will likely be an embarrassment to the American people, who Trump is so ill-equipped to truly represent.