The Pros And Cons Of Free Trade

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On January 23, 2017, Trump fulfilled his campaign promise by pulling America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a free trade agreement between the US and 11 other Pacific Rim states reached under the Obama administration. Trump stated that he did a "great thing for the American worker." (Bradner) When Trump was on the presidential campaign trail, 54% of Americans answered “much more likely” or “somewhat more likely” to the question "would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for President who promises to put a stop to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and enact trade policies that put U.S. jobs first" in the Caddell & Associates poll conducted from February to March 2016. (Ballotpedia) Nevertheless, in the…show more content…
Trump uses strong expressions, such as that TPP continues to rape America, to induce negative sentiments against TPP. Furthermore, he uses the rhetoric because he knows there is a solid voter base resonating with his messages. However, before Trump being the president-elect, groups who oppose to trade have been nearly invisible on media and the majority of Americans were surprised that there was a substantial amount of people who supported and voted for Trump. Why were groups against trade ignored by the mainstream society? The theoretical frameworks Daniel Ikenson implicitly draws upon in the article, “TPP, R.I.P.?”, published in Foreign Affairs explain why people holding negative views of trade can be excluded from discussions about trade. Realism, the Hegemonic Stability Theory, and Liberalism that Ikenson uses all perceive trade from a western perspective. I argue that an exclusive western perspective on trade ignores the uneven resource distribution within the US and in developing countries; therefore encourages the romanticization of trade, eventually leads to xenophobia and the rise of support of parties on the right. Theoretical Foundations Ikenson sets a Realist tone in the excerpt. Realists think that main international political actors are states and the competition for power is a zero-sum game. States are selfish so they constantly compete for power and security while fearing that other countries can be comparatively more
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