Challenge For The International Free Trade Era

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Challenge for the International Free Trade Era: US and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Paul Jonghyun Lee
The College of William and Mary

Challenge for the International Free Trade Era: US and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
The dynamic nature of American political economy is evident in the fundamental changes in its trading policies. We live in an era of global free trade, where the food we eat are imported from Latin America and the furniture we store our Made-In-China shirts are from Asia. We share information over the Internet, exchange goods with people on the other side of the world, and benefit from free trade on a daily basis. As much benefits as free trade has brought to Americans, however, there are downsides to this globalization. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) provides excellent example of these drawbacks.
In 2008, the United States joined Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam in the massive initiative named the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Now, with 4 more countries, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, and Mexico, the US is working to establish one of the biggest multilateral free-trade commitment in its history. Since the beginning of his presidency, President Obama has pushed for the Congress’ approval of the TPP, claiming that the pact’s goals are to reduce tariffs, protect consumer rights, and benefit domestic workers. (USTR, 2011) However, underneath the disguise of the drive for a “comprehensive, next-generation regional
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