There's a big political fight happening in Washington, but for once it does not break down easily along partisan lines. There are free-traders among both the Democrats and the Republicans, and opposition exists on both sides. But the main skirmish in this fight is currently happening between President Obama and some of his fellow Democrats.
The jump in the March trade deficit, coupled with the weak job numbers for the last two months, should highlight the importance of including rules on currency in trade agreements. Such rules could ensure that the dollar does not remain over-valued and prevent the economy from reaching full employment.
The White House claims that Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership would help counter China's growing economic and military threat. Many Republicans, including nominal pro-defense patriots, are curiously supportive of the President in this case. Ironically bipartisan trade policy created our China problem in the first place.
BRUSSELS -- A discrepancy exists between the benefits of globalization on the one side and the legitimate values shared by diverse communities on the other. The benefits of globalization go with magnitude, with size. The larger, the better because of the economies of scale. Big is beautiful. Identity, legitimacy and politics go with proximity, the small and diseconomies of scale. Small is beautiful.
Yes, Nike, a company that grew to be worth billions by outsourcing jobs to overseas sweatshops, a company that sets up P.O.-box subsidiaries in tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes, a company that uses threats to extort tax breaks from its "home" state. Is this really the sort of company Obama wants to use as the face of what the TPP will bring?
Nationwide, many Americans who are working hard and playing by the rules are still struggling. Two decades of failed U.S. trade policy is one reason. At issue is not whether to trade, but under what rules. For workers, the environment and the health of American families, getting the rules right is essential.