friday roundup (james)

The Week in Review: TPP Edition

Why you should care about a new, landmark trade deal that would transform the global economy.

Brian Hughes | UPS Longitudes

This was a big week for trade. More importantly, this was a big week for expanding economic opportunity around the world.

The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations reached an agreement this week on the largest regional trade accord in history.

The pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, links roughly 40 percent of the global economy, connecting 800 million consumers across the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

Much work remains to get TPP across the finish line. Participating nations must secure legislative approval for the deal, a process that will stretch into 2016 and attract widespread debate in the United States and abroad.

Like any politically charged topic, it’s easy to get lost in the talking points on TPP.

Here at Longitudes, we’d like to explain what TPP actually does and how it improves daily life for millions of people.

Roughly half of the world’s imports are intermediate goods that will be improved and then shipped on for either further modification or for sale. What that tells us is that trade is no longer a zero-sum game, where one nation wins only when another loses.

As we see it, here are the top five reasons to support TPP.

“TPP is a historic agreement that represents real market opportunities for U.S. companies of all sizes and a chance for them to compete on a more level playing field with local players,” explained UPS CEO David Abney.

You could spend hours and hours searching for TPP commentary online. But who has time for that?

Luckily, we’ve compiled some of the best insight from around the Web for your perusal.

“The deal is critical to create opportunity for the American middle class in a vastly new economic era,” writes Jay Chittooran, an economic policy adviser for the centrist think tank Third Way. “To be against this trade deal is to be stuck in the 1990s and unable to see how, with the global economy, modern trade agreements have changed.”

The Washington Post Editorial Board called TPP a cause for celebration.

TPP will have the most impact on emerging markets, argues Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group.

“Its biggest economic impact will be felt in smaller markets like Vietnam and Malaysia,” he writes for TIME Magazine. “But it will also provide a critical boost for Japan’s economy, helping Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continue to push forward on economic reform.”

Over at the Financial Times, Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, explains what TPP passage would mean for other consequential trade deals still in negotiations.

“Finally, the conclusion of TPP should light a fire under the languishing U.S-E.U. talks on a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” he says. “The same dynamic played out in the late 1980s, when U.S. trade overtures to Asia helped persuade the EU to make the final deals that produced the Uruguay Round agreement.”

Finally, the Wall Street Journal has a good roundup on TPP and the future of the logistics industry.

But we want to hear from you. What do you think about TPP? And what do you still want to know?

While you’re at it, check out the rest of this week’s Longitudes content, including a look at “aerotropolises” powering the global economy, eight ways to ensure innovation benefits everybody and America’s first intelligent lighting system.

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Brian Hughes is a writer and editor at Longitudes.

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