“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”
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.