According to trade and foreign policy analysts, withdrawing the US from the Asia-Pacific trade pact designed to promote US economic and strategic interests over China’s will go down as one of the worst decisions made by an American president in the last 50 years.
Donald Trump’s decision looks even worse now that China has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trump’s trade policies, particularly tariffs on steel and aluminum, have resulted in the layoff of many manufacturing workers. According to research by Mary Amiti, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Columbia University economists Sang Hoon Kong and David Weinstein, the tariffs caused companies listed on the US stock market to lose an estimated $1.7 trillion in market value.
“The Trump administration’s trade policy was a story of inflicting great harm and achieving few successes,” wrote Anderson, executive director of the nonpartisan National Foundation for American Policy. “The administration levied tariffs on $350 billion worth of imports from China. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the Trump tariffs cost the average U.S. household more than $1,200 a year. The Biden administration has maintained the tariffs.”
Many manufacturing workers have lost their jobs as a result of Trump’s trade policies, and his tariffs have cost companies listed on the US stock exchange an estimated $1.7 trillion in market value.
“The Trump administration’s trade policies harmed consumers and companies and failed to achieve their stated objectives with China or America’s other trading partners,” Anderson wrote. “Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership created an opening for China and will continue to put U.S. workers and companies at a competitive disadvantage.”
The Trump administration’s trade policy was a tale of wreaking havoc while achieving few victories. Tariffs were imposed on $350 billion in Chinese imports by the Trump administration. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Trump tariffs cost the average American household more than $1,200 per year. The tariffs have been maintained by the Biden administration.
According to the analyst, The US would suffer a significant setback in its efforts to shape the international economic landscape in support of our values and interests. These dynamics highlight the risk that Washington’s trade inaction will have a significant impact on US competitiveness and the long-term prospects of American workers and businesses.
The background is that China applied to join what is now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership on September 16, 2021. (CPTTP). Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam are currently members of the trade pact. According to Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, China’s notification was sent to New Zealand’s trade minister, who is the designated CPTPP member for such matters.
New Zealand’s trade minister is well aware of the stakes. “It was February 2017 and President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress,” according to Tim Groser, who served as New Zealand’s trade minister (2008–15) and ambassador to the U.S. (2016–18). “As the president announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I was thinking about a conversation I’d had with a particularly astute Asian ambassador. He’d suggested to me that if a book on the decline of American influence in Asia and the Indo-Pacific were ever written—and he hoped it never would be—its first chapter would be an account of the withdrawal of the U.S. from TPP.”
The Trump administration’s trade policies harmed consumers and businesses while failing to meet their stated goals with China and America’s other trading partners. Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership opened the door for China and will continue to put American workers and businesses at a competitive disadvantage.