The Obama administration surely negotiated the TPP in good faith, and the accord would likely add to global and U.S. economic growth. This is not a pernicious accord, the fruits of a secret cabal as some have feared. Nor is globalization an evil to be fought tooth and nail. The sad truth, however, is that while the administration promised a 21st-century agreement, we have yet another late 20th-century agreement.
In 2015, people were so busy crossing borders -- real and conceptual -- that they barely registered the backlash against globalization. Officially, more and more countries had committed themselves to diversity, multiculturalism, and the cosmopolitan ideals of liberty, solidarity, and equality. But everything began to change.
When I first stepped onto Khao San Road, the main backpacker drag in Bangkok, I was a little overwhelmed. I had arrived after weeks spent cycling alone in the Thai countryside, winding through rolling hills, beside acres of fields filled with rice and corn, passing by bustling towns and cities without a single tourist.