“It’s a very bad and sad day,” said left-wing CNN Democrat Fareed Zakaria on Monday in describing President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Speaking with political ally and colleague Don Lemon, Zakaria described the TPP’s proposals as serving two synergistic objectives: 1. Improving America’s economic well-being, and 2. Enhancing America’s power in the international arena relative to China and other rising powers.
“It was a very good deal,” said Zakaria of the TPP, “And it’s a very bad and sad day [that the TPP was terminated].”
“For the American worker, whatever the rhetoric, [ending the TPP] is actually a bad deal,” claimed Zakaria, “We’re building walls while the Chinese are going out doing deals, trade deals that benefit them.”
“From a strategic point of view, today’s the day the United States essentially handed over Asia, on a platter, to China,” added Zakaria, claiming that America was ceding to China the “battle for influence” across Asia.
Aborting the TPP would close off the enormity of the Asian market to American businesses for exporting good and services, implied Zakaria.
The TPP was regularly hyped as a proposal to further “free trade” by its supporters, as if former President Barack Obama is committed to lowering regulatory and tax burdens on international commerce.
Zakaria inadvertently acknowledged that the TPP would actually raise costs on business, and by extension consumers and other stakeholders. The TPP, he said, included “concessions” from partner states to increase regulatory and tax burdens on business in the name of “labor standards” and “environmental issues.” At no point did he opine on the benefits of loweing regulatory and tax burdens via multilateral trade agreements as a means towards liberalizing international trade.
Political observers should note that the TPP was about consolidation of regulatory and tax burdens on business in an upward direction. The TPP would require more poorly developed states to raise their regulatory and tax burdens to match those founds in decadent Western states. In other words, the costs of international business would not be lowered were TPP to be implemented.
Zakaria recommended deceiving the American public with respect to promoting the TPP when asked what advice he would provide Trump:
I would have said [to Trump], “Go to these countries and say to them, ‘Guys, I need a couple of concessions so that I can go back and say that we have a better deal.’” Get those concessions and say, ‘TPP was bad, but I got these three very important changes. Now we can sign it.’
Zakaria presents himself as an objective, rational, and non-partisan political analyst with expertise in the realm of international relations. "I am not a highly partisan person," said Zakaria of himself last November, "I have views that are left of center, but others that are conservative."
Lemon did not invite a competing perspective of the impact of Trump’s decision to abort the TPP.
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