Trump to scrap TPP trade deal first day in office

Donald Trump announced in a YouTube video that he would issue several executive orders on his first day in office to begin making good on some of his campaign promises, including scrapping the controversial trade agreement negotiated by President Obama, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Other orders will deal with energy, overregulation, and immigration.

Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Trump’s video included six calls for action on tradeimmigration, energy, regulatory curbs, national security and ethics changes, most of which have already been announced either during the campaign or the transition period. He didn’t mention action on the Affordable Care Act, his proposed wall along the southern border, the tax code or the Iran nuclear deal, all of which were central arguments for his election.

Several of the changes would direct government agencies or officials to come up with new plans for how to operate, and their impact could take some time to be felt. For example, he will order military leaders to develop a plan to deal with cyberattacks and other threats, a review that could become broad in scope. He said he will also initiate an investigation into visa fraud, and impose a new rule to limit future regulations.

The pledge that could make a difference quickly is one to “cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal.” He said this would create “many millions of high-paying jobs.”

In response to the video, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said the proposals “show that Donald Trump is continuing the longstanding GOP tradition of helping out their special interest friends at the expense of everyone else.”

The video announcement came as Mr. Trump continued back-to-back interviews and meetings with prospective cabinet officials and White House advisers, including Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who is considered a candidate for the Interior Department.

The scrapping of TPP will have broad bipartisan support in Congress and will open a new era in how the American government approaches international trade.

No one doubts that trade is vital to the American economy.  But the U.S. has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs just since 2000 a clear sign that the most important trade deals are killing that sector of the American economy.  However, not all those job losses are the result of trade.  Other factors like productivity losses due to lack of modernization  largely our own fault due to overregulation  contribute to a loss of jobs.

Donald Trump has promised to bring those jobs back.  Most experts say that even under the most favorable circumstances, that's not going to happen.  But the politics of renegotiating NAFTA are very different from scrapping the TPP, which has yet to go into effect.  What is not evident in citing the loss of manufacturing jobs is the millions of jobs gained in U.S. economic sectors heavily involved in exports.  How to balance the need to protect our manufacturing base without initiating a trade war that would devastate industries involved in exporting American products will be key.

This is all in the future.  What's clear now is that a new regime to replace the drive for "free trade" must be created that will protect our industries while faciliting the exchange of goods for the benefit of all.