With the presidential primary spotlighting a bipartisan trade revolt, defenders of our status quo trade policies are on the defensive. Their latest claim: the Panama Papers leak shows that the U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) with Panama fixed that nation's infamous tax haven conduct. An actual review of the data, however, shows that the FTA seems to have incentivized more tax haven activity in Panama, not less.
The short answer is that after much research and thought, I have realized that I cannot support the TPP as it is currently written. In many ways, I find myself in the same position as Hillary Clinton: I was optimistic about this highly anticipated trade agreement, but was disappointed and cannot support the final result.
Between now and March 26, voters who are feeling the Bern in Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove the pundits wrong by propelling Sanders toward victory in Philadelphia. We need our strongest fighter in the ring this fall. That fighter is Bernie Sanders.
The problem with Cruz's position is not that it's philosophically incoherent. On free trade, as on any other issue, one can be in favor of a thing and yet oppose a specific proposal to implement it. It's no different than being generically in favor of a strong defense, but against a particular weapons program. The problem is that Cruz has been flippy and disingenuous about it.