By James Moore and cross-posted from The Independent
Get set for a bonfire of the trade deals as President Donald Trump keeps his promises over one of the few policy areas about which he has shown any consistency.
His shock victory sounds the death knell for the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP), which was to have been the biggest regional free trade agreement in history, and the biggest trade deal struck since the 1994 completion of the Uruguay Round of the GATT world trade talks that created the World Trade Organisation.
Intended to stitch 12 countries into a free trade area, and secure an American style approach to their future dealings, its ratification before the transfer of power has been one of the key goals of the outgoing Obama administration, which has expended a huge amount of energy to that end. That won’t now happen, not even in the “lame duck” succession of Congress before President Trump enters the Oval Office. Speaker Paul Ryan had ruled out a vote before his election. While he said he favoured a deal, albeit with some tweaks, he also said that “we just don’t have the votes” to pass the measure. There is no chance of a change of heart now. He needs to mend fences with Trump, who angrily attacked Ryan for his lack of loyalty during the campaign.
The Trump administration will thus be free to consign the TPP to the dustbin of history, unless it can secure a multiple concessions from the other signatories, which include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malyasia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vitenam, and the incoming President’s favourite whipping boy Mexico.
The same is almost certainly true of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Parntership – or TTIP – with the European Union, on which talks started in 2013…