Not so fast: Conflicting deadlines for the TPP and US-EU FTA

Article Highlights

  • After a fallow first four years, President Obama has suddenly embraced an ambitious — but highly problematic — trade agenda for his second term.

    Tweet This

  • The administration is misguided in bowing to the EU’s frantic plea for a crash, two-year timetable for FTA negotiations.

    Tweet This

  • Such a course will fail — and of much greater significance, it may well imperil a successful conclusion of the strategically and economically vital TPP negotiations.

    Tweet This

  • Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations have emerged as the central symbol of the U.S. diplomatic and economic ‘pivot’ to Asia.

    Tweet This

President Obama has suddenly embraced a highly problematic trade agenda for his second term.

After a fallow first four years, President Obama has suddenly embraced an ambitious — but highly problematic — trade agenda for his second term. First, he has adopted the goal of completing the hugely complex and politically difficult 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) in the next 12 months. Second, in his State of the Union address the president gave the go-ahead for negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) by the end of 2014.

The administration is misguided in bowing to the EU’s frantic plea for a crash, two-year timetable for FTA negotiations. Such a course will fail — and of much greater significance, it may well imperil a successful conclusion of the strategically and economically vital TPP negotiations.

Challenges to the TPP

The TPP negotiations have emerged as the central symbol of the U.S. diplomatic and economic “pivot” to Asia. Over the past three years, in ever more expansive language, President Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton underlined the strategic importance of Asia. The president averred, “In the Asia Pacific in the twenty-first century the United States of America is all in.” National security adviser Michael Froman explicitly tied the TPP to U.S. economic and security goals: “This really embeds us in the fastest-growing region of the world, and gives us a leadership role in shaping the rules of the game for that region.”

To read the full text of this article, please visit The American website.

Claude Barfield is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Claude
Barfield

What's new on AEI

Expanding opportunity in America
image Moving beyond fear: Addressing the threat of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria
image Foreign policy is not a 'CSI' episode
image The Air Force’s vital role
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.