After the Republican fear-fest in Cleveland, watching the Democrats in Philadelphia last week was like stepping out of the Dark Ages into the Enlightenment. Donald Trump may have no use for facts, civility or rational argument, but these things still seem to matter to Democrats.
There was, however, a big exception to the rule: trade. Riding a wave of populist wrath, Democrats demonized President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a gift to the 1% and mortal threat to U.S. workers. It’s a bogus claim, and one that has them sounding a lot like, well, Trump.
TPP is a linchpin of Obama’s strategic goal of “rebalancing” U.S. power and diplomacy. It would combine the U.S. and 11 Pacific nations in a vast free-trade zone that would act as a counterweight to China’s enormous economic might. If the pact goes down, so will our influence in the region, leaving Beijing to call the shots.
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