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April 21, 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership Briefing Conference Call: Questions for US Government Representatives

Over at Equitable Growth: Trying to get the issues straight in my mind here...

>antonio.white@xxxxxx.xxx: Dear Mr. Delong: I hope this note finds you well. In light of recent activity in Congress related to the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, I write to invite you to join an off-the-record conference call with XXXXXX senior staff for an update on the current state of play. The call is scheduled for today, Tuesday, April 21 at 3:45 p.m. ET

Dear Mr. White:

Thank you very much for your invitation. I will try. I will have to move a couple of things--and I am not the most important person involved in them...

But if you want to know where my concerns are, let me start by quoting something that I wrote before http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/03/the-debate-over-the-trans-pacific-partnership.html: READ MOAR

We get a net addition to world wealth of $3 trillion. That is indeed a very small number relative to the wealth of the world both now and discounted into the future. But that is a rather large number compared to other things the U.S. government might do this year. So why not grab for it? The reasons not to advanced appear to be political and distributional — both within-U.S. distributional and global-distributional. So:

  1. Trade-liberalization initiatives rank much higher on the Republican Party's priority list than they do on the Democratic Party's priority list. I have always thought it was a mistake for President Clinton to put WTO and NAFTA to the top of his priority list without getting any Republican procedural or substantive legislative concessions that would have advanced other pieces of his agenda in return for his doing so. Why is president Obama following the same strategy?

  2. What steps have been taken to ensure that Trans-Pacific Partnership-driven harmonization of labor, environmental, and health and safety standards takes the form of coordination at the top rather then of a race to the bottom?

  3. What is there in the TPP and in the Obama administration implementation plans to make sure that the gains will be divided equitably, rather then the TPP strengthening the economic bargaining power of the 1% so that they can grab more than 100% of the gains?

  4. Is the tightening of the intellectual-property regimes in the TPP really a good thing for the world or for the Pacific as a whole?

  5. Should the US negotiating position in the TPP be one of self-interest, or should it recognize its responsibility to be a benevolent global hegemon, inasmuch as our long-term interest in world prosperity and world peace outweighs any short-run economic advantage? Has the United States in fact recognized in the PPT negotiations?