A trade policy nerd can only be subjected to blatant protectionist nonsense for so long. So, after months of hearing/reading/seeing myths about Trade Promotion Authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and free trade more broadly, I finally cracked. The result is a 3500+-word debunking of the nine most common myths (just like old blog times!). The intro and direct links are below.
Top Nine Myths About Trade Promotion Authority And The Trans-Pacific Partnership
The current debate over Trade Promotion Authority proves, once again, that the classic description of the anti-globalization movement—as “largely the well-intentioned but ill-informed being led around by the ill-intentioned and well informed”—still holds true. Despite the tireless efforts of trade policy experts to explain why TPA and the U.S. trade agreements it’s intended to facilitate are, while imperfect, not a secret corporatist plot to usurp the U.S. Constitution and install global government, myths and half-truths continue to infect traditional and social media outlets.
Because these myths—originating with the same old anti-trade bedfellows that have been with us for decades—have duped a lot of good folks who are otherwise predisposed to support liberty and free markets (including some in Congress), and because the House of Representatives is poised to vote on TPA in the coming days, here is one last debunking of the top nine myths about TPA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and U.S. free-trade agreements (FTAs) more broadly.
To save some time, you can skip to your favorite myth by clicking on the links below.
Myth 1: TPA and U.S. FTAs are unconstitutional and undemocratic!
Myth 2: TPA grants the president new and unlimited powers!
Myth 3: TPA sets legally binding congressional rules for U.S. trade negotiations!
Myth 4: Once TPA is approved, Congress will be powerless to stop TPP or other FTAs!
Myth 5: TPP is being negotiated via a dangerous and unprecedented level of secrecy!
Myth 6: FTAs, completed via TPA, undermine U.S. sovereignty!
Myth 7: TPP is a secret backdoor for a parade of horribles (and TPA lets that happen)!
Myth 8: FTAs (and free trade generally) benefit large corporations at the expense of working people!
Myth 9: TPA doesn’t matter!