Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
It’s a measure of the lunacy of this election that neither candidate is robustly defending the TPP, and the task of making the case for it has been offshored, so to speak, to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:
His comments about Japan are noteworthy. If the agreement fails, he argues, US credibility will be severely undermined:
I think in terms of America’s engagement of the region, you have put a reputation on the line. It is the big thing which America is doing in the Asia Pacific with the Obama administration, consistently over many, many years of hard work and pushing. And your partners, your friends who have come to the table, who have negotiated, each one of them has overcome some domestic political objection, some sensitivity, some political cost to come to the table and make this deal.
And if, at the end, waiting at the altar, the bride doesn’t arrive, I think there are people who are going to be very hurt, not just emotionally but really damaged for a long time to come. Mr. Abe, for example, several of his predecessors thought seriously about and decided not to participate in the TPP. They came very close. They prepared the ground, they walked away. But Mr. Abe came through and decided to commit. Why? Because he wants to help. He wants his country to benefit and to open up its markets, and this is one way to do it.
It hurts your relationship with Japan, your security agreements with Japan. And the Japanese living in an uncertain world, depending on an American nuclear umbrella, will have to say: on trade, the Americans could not follow through; if it’s life and death, whom do I have to depend upon? It’s an absolutely serious calculation, which will not be said openly, but I have no doubt will be thought.
This is the one thing Obama really got right — but now we have not one, but two candidates running against free trade.
Have I mentioned recently how dispiriting I find this election?