Why the TPP is the best response to Chinese imperialism

A FB Dialog

Given China’s decision to declare an air defense zone in the vast region of the Pacific Ocean known as the South China Sea, I have decided to reverse my position on the TPP. I now support its ratification. It is vital that the nations of the Pacific Ocean form increased ties – not just trade, but political ties as well. We need to do the EU one better. I would have preferred not to, but the US cannot do this alone. We need to join with our global neighbors and defend our ocean, while introducing the best of our American values, as we absorb the best from our allies.

Chiho Fox
Chiho Fox Really awesome to see that we can still change our minds and consider new angles as things change and new information is available; great on ya Ed!
Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz Yes, this has been the issue all along. BTW, not only China but Russia were left out of TPP!

Stephen Schwartz
Chad Lupkes Chad Lupkes Interesting perspective, Ed. Can we start by strengthening our ties with Canada and Mexico and reboot the North American Union idea?
Ed Hodapp
 Ed Hodapp But we should move much further than this – and quickly too – to move from economic ties to political ties. We have the EU as an example of what happens when you neglect the far more difficult political ties and settle for merely economic ties.
Chad Lupkes

Chad Lupkes There’s a right way and wrong way to do the economic ties.

 The right method would strengthen our political ties at the same time. The US and Canadian currencies should be locked together 1:1.
Ed Hodapp

Ed Hodapp Economic is always easier, but yes, ideally we should increase our political ties contemporaneously with economic ties.


Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz CHINESE IMPERIALISM IS WHY WE NEED THE TPP: Economic analyses of TPP showS an overall positive (if modest) effect on the US economy. The hard part is that we, the US, are not homogeneous. TPP benefits the coasts hugely because of exports from agriculture and tech. The rust belt, based on my reading, will benefit less but the reality is that rust belt jobs are endangered not by TPP itself but by automation as well as lower wages elsewhere.
The CONSTRUCTIVE approach, building off of the Bernie campaigN, is to pass TPP along with companion legislation that strengthens the role of unions in the US and strengthens barriers to trade with countries like Malaysia that practice wage slavery, countries like China that wink wink in their trade with Iran, etc.
BUT TPP ALSO ALLOWS US TO affirmatively encourage trade with TPP partners!
Ed Hodapp Ed Hodapp Chad, at the point of forming a common currency, we must have a political structure with democratic legitimacy – that is the biggest failing of the EU which allowed nations like Germany to profit from placing nations like Greece into a serf-like subservience with no effective resistance from them. Much as some of our states annoy me here in the US, without their ability to obstruct in our cumbersome federal system of government, we would have disintegrated a long time ago. Democracy is not for the impatient or lazy, but if done right, can be surprisingly stable.
Chad Lupkes Chad Lupkes Sure, but the question is how you develop a political union among many different cultures. There needs to be standards that people can agree on, and cultural unity builds trust.
Ed Hodapp Ed Hodapp It ain’t gonna be easy, and we will likely fail, but we need to try. Much like our own constitution, we need to delineate which areas a super-federal government has control over, and leave the rest as rights to the individual nations. I guess I should read up on the history of alliances, starting with the Delian League. The Peloponnesian War seems remarkably familiar even today. I do believe that most alliances had their beginnings with trade as the cover for other motivations.
John Donoso John Donoso I think the EU outlines an plausible trajectory for this sort of thing: Incremental treaties integrating more and more systems, starting with trade and human rights. Those are a pretty solid basis, IMHO.
Mark Jessup Mark Jessup Ed, do you think the “rationalization” of tariff codes has anything to do with this… China jumped into the rationalization process with both feet, and now they have the clearest picture of what every other nation is doing commercially due to the reporting other nations have agreed to…
Ed Hodapp Ed Hodapp Mark, without reading up on the details, I would guess that commercial intelligence is the most accessible intelligence to a nation-state like China with or without the Harmonized Tariff Codes.
John Donoso John Donoso Fuckin’ A!! Well done sir – being able to update a position in the face of new information is a sign of an open and agile mind. Thanks for keeping it real =D
Ed Hodapp Ed Hodapp Lol, agile. Right… 😉

Joshua Trupin What’s in the TPP, exactly?


John Donoso John Donoso Joshua – That’s the problem. Very few people actually know. I’ll quote right from the White House here, because it’s got an excellent summary ( The TPP does a lot of interesting stuff – for example, it requires member countries, on penalty of sanctions, to:

– Protect the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively;
– Prohibit and eliminate exploitative child labor and forced labor;
– Protect against employment discrimination;
– Set acceptable conditions of work concerning minimum wages, hours of work, and workplace health and safety;
– Prevent degradation of labor protections in export processing zones— designated areas that often have lax labor rules in other countries, allowing them to compete unfairly; and
– Combat trade in goods made by forced labor, including forced child labor, in countries inside and outside TPP.
This ain’t yo mama’s free trade agreement. It includes remarkably strong labor and environmental protections, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering that Obama is negotiating this with the express intention to learn from the experience of NAFTA and WTO. He wants to do it right this time. It looks pretty good to me.

Leveling the playing field for American workers & American businesses.

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