Winners and Losers in the Pacific Trade Deal

Winners and Losers in the Pacific Trade Deal Photo (cc) by James Cridland

A historic trade deal is one step closer to adoption, but it remains controversial.

World leaders finalized details of what’s known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Monday, the New York Times reports.

However, the deal — championed by the Obama administration but facing bipartisan opposition — must also be approved by the U.S. Congress before it can be adopted.

If adopted, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would become the largest regional trade deal in history, according to the New York Times. The U.S. is one of 12 countries in the Pacific Rim region that are part of the agreement. The others are:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the TPP offers a quadruple win that would “help increase made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs and strengthen the American middle class.”

Outside of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, however, opinions vary as to who will be the winners — and losers — if the TPP is adopted. They include:

Possible winners

American service providers: American-based banks, insurance firms, travel services and various other companies would benefit by gaining access to larger markets in the other 11 TPP countries, Eurasia Group senior analyst Corey Boles tells CBS MoneyWatch.

Corporate America in general: According to the New York Times:

The Pacific accord would phase out thousands of import tariffs as well as other barriers to international trade, like Japanese regulations that keep out some American-made autos and trucks. It also would establish uniform rules on corporations’ intellectual property, and open the Internet even in communist Vietnam.

Possible losers

American consumers: Some says both shoppers and job-seekers would benefit from the deal. But Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is running for president as a Democrat, wrote in a blog post Monday that the TPP is “a disastrous trade deal” whose losers include “consumers” and “American jobs.”

American manufacturing: Ford opposes the TPP because it fails to sufficiently address currency manipulation by American trading partners like Japan that effectively lowers prices for U.S. exports, the New York Times reports. Various lawmakers also have expressed concern about the currency issues.

China: The country with the world’s second-largest economy is not part of the TPP. Bloomberg View columnist Noah Feldman, a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard University, wrote earlier this year:

In the new cool war, China’s rising economic influence is giving it greater geopolitical power in Asia. The TPP is, above all, an effort to push back on China’s powerful trade relationships to reduce its political clout.

Are you for or against the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Let us know why by leaving a comment below or on Facebook.

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