Sunday, November 20, 2016

3.2 - Good News: the TPP is dead

Good News: the TPP is dead

Next up under the heading Good News is the fact that by all appearances, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP, is dead. And it's equally-evil cousin, the The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, essentially the TPP but between the US and the European Union, likely also is headed for the morgue.

On November 11, Obama's trade office announced that it is, essentially, giving up on trying to pass the deal during the lame-duck session. Matt McAlvanah, speaking for the US Trade Representative's office, which had been lobbying for the TPP for months, said in a statement that "this is a legislative process and it's up to Congressional leaders as to whether and when this moves forward."

He said that after both Senate Majority Leader Fishface McConnell and House Speaker Paul Rantin' have said that they will not take up the pact during the lame-duck session. Since they will still be in power after TheRump, who has called the TPP "a disaster," is inaugurated, there really is no reason for it to come up after that.

Except maybe there is. Because there is no such thing as untrammeled good news these days.

You have to realize that the big reason the GOPpers opposed the TPP was that it was Obama's deal. If you think they cared about the increase in corporate power it entailed, the weakening of environmental and labor protections it envisioned, or the shrinking of government ability to regulate The Market (pbui) it looked to, then you are sadly deluded. They only cared about Obama not getting it passed.

Already there are rumblings about how the TPP isn't dead, it's just "in purgatory." Ken Brady, the GOPper who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, says that the TPP shouldn't be dropped, just "renegotiated." So don't be surprised if in a couple of months from now, the TPP re-emerges with the minimum of tweaks thought necessary to justify a flip-flop by the GOPper hierarchy.

So watch this space, because as the great philosopher Yogi Berra said, "it ain't over 'til it's over." But for the moment, take a breath and the fact that we can do that, that we can take a breath, yeah, that's Good News.

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