“The TPP does have its flaws, par­tic­u­larly in its over­shoot on pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights. But the idea that the deal will be a huge job killer for the US is highly de­bat­able”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

likely to fall dis­pro­por­tion­ately on poor and mid­dle-in­come cit­i­zens, as they have in the past? Sim­ple re­dis­tri­bu­tion of in­come through taxes and trans­fers is far more di­rect and more po­tent, and would cer­tainly serve to ex­pand ag­gre­gate de­mand.

Any­one who por­trays the US as a huge loser from the global eco­nomic sta­tus quo needs to gain some per­spec­tive on the mat­ter. I have lit­tle doubt that a cen­tury from now, Amer­i­cans’ con­sump­tion-cen­tric life­style will no longer be viewed as some­thing to envy and em­u­late, and the coun­try’s fail­ure to im­ple­ment a car­bon tax will be viewed as a mas­sive fail­ure. With un­der 5% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, the US ac­counts for a vastly dis­pro­por­tion­ate share of car­bon­diox­ide emis­sions and other pol­lu­tion, with much of the blame fall­ing on Amer­ica’s mid­dle class.

But the idea that trade fu­els in­equal­ity is a very parochial per­spec­tive, and pro­tec­tion­ists who shroud them­selves in a moral­is­tic in­equal­ity nar­ra­tive are deeply hyp­o­crit­i­cal. As far as trade is con­cerned, the cur­rent US pres­i­den­tial cam­paign is an em­bar­rass­ment of sub­stance, not just of per­son­al­ity.

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