All posts by r k Morris

KOREA – A STORY IN LIGHTS

FROM AN ADDRESS TO THE KOREAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

A sky-top view of this peninsula shows a nation of dazzling light in the South and a mass of impenetrable darkness in the North.”

Donald Trump
November 7, 2017

CONTEXT

On Tuesday (November 7 ) in Seoul, President Trump addressed the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. This is what he was talking about:

Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

And this is the rest of the paragraph:

“We seek a future of light, prosperity, and peace. But we are only prepared to discuss this brighter path for North Korea if its leaders cease their threats and dismantle their nuclear program.”

***

President Trump made a brief reference to trade early in his remarks, but this was not a trade speech. This was a speech about the enormous transformation of South Korea in the years following the Korean War, about the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and about the bitterly disappointing history of the diplomatic efforts to get North Korea to abandon her nuclear ambitions.

For the most part, we shall leave it to you, the interested reader, to discover those elements in the original speech. Some of the facts about South Korea that the President cited are indeed inspiring, and we can’t resist sharing at least few of them. President Trump:

From the Starting Line. “When the Korean War began in 1950, the two Koreas were approximately equal in GDP. … [T]oday the South’s economy is over 40 times larger.”

Economics: “Today your economy is more than 350 times larger than it was in 1960. Trade has increased 1,900 times. Life expectancy has risen from 53 years to more than 82 years.”

Financial Crisis: “When the Republic you won faced financial crisis [in 1997-98], you (citizens of South Korea) lined up by the millions to give your most prized possessions—your wedding rings, heirlooms, and gold ‘lucky keys’—to restore the promise of a better future for your children.”

Intellectual Achievement. Korean authors penned roughly 40,000 books this year. Korean musicians fill concert halls all around the world. Young Korean students graduate from college at the highest rate of any country.”

Golf.   “And you know what I’m going to say – the Women’s U.S. Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and it just happened to be won by a great Korean golfer, Sung-hyun Park. … And the top four golfers … were from Korea.”

Limits.  “The Korean miracle extends exactly as far as the armies of free nations advanced in 1953—24 miles to the north. There, it stops; it all comes to an end. Dead stop. The flourishing ends, and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins.”

COMMENT

As the lawyers say, res ipsa loquitur.

SOURCES & LINKS

At the National Assembly is President Trump’s November 7 speech to Korean legislatures as it appears on the White House website. This was the source for today’s featured quote.

Gold to the Rescue is a 2016 Forbes article on the personal sacrifices made by the people of South Korea in an effort to pay off the IMF loan made necessary by the Asian Financial Crisis.

Originally published on November 8 as TTALK Quote No. 65 of 217.

© 2017, Global Business Dialogue, Inc.

 

APPLES AND NAFTA

ABOUT THEM APPLES – PART II,
FROM GALA TO GRANNY SMITH

With NAFTA in doubt…

“[T]he health of the U.S. apple industry is hanging on a stem.”
Jim Bair
October 24, 2017 (on-line publication date).

Editor’s note. It has been almost three weeks since we published the last TTALK Quote on October 6. We apologize for the unexplained silence, but the TTALK Quotes aren’t dead. They were just sleeping.

Sauvie Island Apples rkm photo

CONTEXT

Our last entry focused on tomatoes or love apples, and it had been our intention to follow that with a quote about real apples, the kind that give us apple pie, cider, and a nice crunch when you bite into them. And then earlier this week, with an op- ed in The Wall Street Journal, the president of the U.S. Apple Association, Jim Bair, gave us this quote.

To say the least, Mr. Bair profoundly disagrees with President Trump’s assessment of NAFTA – you know, “worst trade deal ever made.” As Mr. Bair put it, “Our growers know it is the best apple trade deal to date.” Here are some of the numbers he provided:

$4 billion – the value of U.S. apple sales “at the farm gate,” i.e., wholesale;

$15 billion in related downstream activity.

We know you are going to read the article, but this paragraph deserves to be quoted here in full:

“Since the agreement took effect, the U.S. apple industry has quadrupled and doubled its exports to Mexico and Canada respectively. These top export markets bring $450 million in additional value to our growers and packers annually. In total, the U.S. apple industry exports a third of the 240 million bushels of apples it harvests each year.”

The Perishable Goods Provision. Mr. Blair kept his argument to the big picture. He talked about NAFTA as a whole and the consequences to his industry if the agreement were to go away, either through a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA or through some other breakdown.

In our last entry, however, the one on tomatoes, we focused on a specific U.S. negotiating objective, namely this one on trade remedies and perishable goods:

“Seek a separate domestic industry provision for perishable and seasonal products in AD/CVD [antidumping and countervailing duty] proceedings.”

In doing so, we took note of the fact that Florida’s two senators, Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, had written to Ambassador Lighthizer in support of just such a provision.

But what is good for Florida tomatoes is not so good for Northwest apples. On September 20, 2017, a sizeable subset of the Pacific Northwest delegation wrote to Ambassador Lighthizer urging him NOT to pursue a new provision for perishable and seasonal goods. They wrote:

“Given that there are serious, unresolved stakeholder concerns about the negative impact of such a provision on U.S. exports and jobs, we ask that you not move forward with this proposal.”

Much of the punch of their argument is contained in these sentences:

“[G]rowers, packers and shippers in the Pacific Northwest produce more than three quarters of the fresh apples and cherries, and approximately 84 percent of the fresh pears, grown in the United States. Mexico and Canada are the top export markets for apples and pears, with about 15 percent of the apple crop and 20 percent of the pear crop, worth approximately $442 million, shipped to our southern and northern neighbors each year.”

And this one:

“We expect that Canadian and Mexican industries, including the tree fruit industry, may take advantage of such a provision – [that is, the provision on seasonal and perishable goods that is now a tabled U.S. negotiating objective] – to restrict exports of U.S. products.”

There were 13 signatories to that letter, including –
From Oregon: Senator Jeffrey Merkley (D), Senator Ron Wyden (D), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D), and Rep. Greg Walden (R); and
From Washington: Senator Maria Cantwell (D), Senator Patty Murray (D), Rep. Denny Heck (R), Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D), Rep. Rick Larsen (D), Rep. Dan Newhouse (R), Rep. David Reichert (R), and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R).

COMMENT

The items mentioned above can each stand alone. That said, we are likely to hear a great deal more about these and all of the other NAFTA issues in the months ahead. Even so, we are tempted to tack on four, somewhat disparate observations.

Retaliation. We have no quarrel with the letter to USTR from the members of the Northwest Delegation, certainly not with their concern that if the U.S. makes life more difficulty for, say, Mexican exporters of tomatoes, Northwest tree fruit exporters are bound to feel some countervailing pain. We suspect they are right. It is troubling however–not wrong but troubling – that so much of the discussion of possible NAFTA permutations hinges less on possible new provisions of law and more on a fundamental notion of practical reciprocity, an “eye-for-an-eye” sort of thing.

Perishable Products and the WTO. The WTO doesn’t get a lot of mention in today’s intense NAFTA discussions. It did come up, however, in a private conversation we had in the wake of our earlier reference to America’s NAFTA negotiating objective on perishable goods. The wise voice on the other end of the phone pointed out that, in its considerations of antidumping and countervailing duty issues, the WTO looks at annual trade. There is no provision for seasonal trade.

“Bilateral agreements should be WTO-plus,” our colleague said, meaning even more favorable to trade. “This would be WTO-minus.”

China. China may seem a non-sequitur in this discussion of North American trade. But when it comes to apples, China is the elephant in the room. According to a relatively current USDA estimate, the world will produce some 77.2 million tons of apples this year, more than half of them – 43.5 million tons — will be from China.  China is the world’s largest apple producer; the U.S. is number 2, with roughly 4.6 million tons.

Yes, China does buy a fair amount of apples from the U.S., but China’s exports here are growing – and if by here we mean North America – then you can add China to the list of countries that are eyeing the possible failure of NAFTA for new export opportunities for themselves.

Apples Nearby. Finally, a word about Sauvie Island , the apples pictured above and the trees below. They are hors de combat as far as this discussion is concerned, which is to say they are not exported. They are not even sold in grocery stores. These are pick-your-own apples from Douglas Farm on Sauvie Island. Just north of Portland, Sauvie Island on the Columbia River is one of America’s largest river islands and home to an array of farms, growing everything from corn to strawberries and apples to pears. The Douglas Farm is one of those and well worth a Sunday stroll if you are out this way.

At Douglas Farm, Sauvie Island rkm photo

SOURCES & LINKS

Is NAFTA Rotten is the op-ed the Wall Street Journal published on October 25 by Jim Bair, the president of the U.S. Apple Association, it argues that NAFTA has been important for U.S. apple growers and its demise would be a disaster. This was the source for today’s featured quote.

A Letter from the Pacific Northwest is a link to the September 20 letter mentioned above from members of the Oregon and Washington delegations, urging USTR not to pursue a new NAFTA provision on seasonal and perishable products.

U.S. Apples is the website of the U.S. Apple Association.

Negotiating Objectives takes you to the NAFTA negotiating objectives published by USTR earlier this year.

Delicious Fruit is a USDA estimate of apple production globally and in selected countries.

The Douglas Farm is a link to the website of the Douglas Farm on Sauvie Island.

Originally published on October 26 as TTALK Quote No. 61 of 217.

© 2017 Global Business Dialogue, Inc.

 

 

 

NAFTA’S TOMATO CHALLENGE

ABOUT THEM APPLES – PART I, LOVE APPLES

“Here in North Florida, tomato worship is our warm weather religion.”

Diane Roberts
July 26, 2009

CONTEXT

This  quote is from a charming NPR report on tomatoes by Diane Roberts that was published back in July of 2009. In fact, our thought had been to write something today (October 6)  about the other kind of apples, with varieties from Gala to Granny Smith, in a word, the real ones. That’s not to say that tomatoes are not real. They are. And there is a real enough connection these days between the two, as the U.S. growers of each stake out different positions in the NAFTA negotiations.

We’ll save our discussion of apples until next week. Today it’s tomatoes, starting with a little more from that delicious piece by Diane Roberts. In modern French, the word for tomato is la tomate, but the French used to call tomatoes pommes d’amour, apples of love. Discussing the history of these red goddesses of the kitchen, Ms. Roberts wrote:

“When the Spanish brought tomatoes to Europe in the 16th century, people didn’t know what to make of them: They might be poisonous. On the other hand, they might be some kind of aphrodisiac like the mandrake root.”

Then she brought her readers up to date:

“Here in North Florida, tomato worship is our warm-weather religion. Fields and farmers markets are piled high with tomatoes in the colors from amethyst to chartreuse, smelling of heaven; we eat them raw with a little rice vinegar, cooked in a tart or simmered in a sauce.” 

All very idyllic. And, we wouldn’t challenge a word of it – not visually, not aesthetically, and certainly not gastronomically.

Tomatoes and Trade Policy. When it comes to trade policy, however, there is an old controversy that may or may not ever be resolved, but it will certainly become more prominent in the months ahead. It is not just about tomatoes. Northwest berry growers have similar issues, but the Florida tomato growers are at the top of the vine, so to speak, when it comes to trade in perishable products.

Fearing increased competition from Mexico, they were opposed to NAFTA when it was being debated in Congress back in 1993, and they have not been happy with developments under the agreement since it went into effect in January 1994. An August article on the Stewart and Stewart website sets out the problems as American tomato producers and others see them. The firm also has something to say about how those problems might be solved. Some illustrative passages follow.

The Problem. Stewart and Stewart begin their explanation of the problem this way:

“Producers of perishables and seasonal agricultural products are particularly susceptible to damage from trade surges and various forms of unfair trade practices. If their products are forced to compete with dumped or subsidized product, or if import surges saturate the market either before or during a marketing season, domestic producers are unable to store their product and wait until prices rise to normal levels.

“Likewise, only a brief window – at times just days – exists in which to sell perishable products.”

And those aren’t the only problems. As the Stewart and Stewart article also points out, U.S. tomato growers often cannot even get the benefit of that famous downward sloping demand curve. They offered this explanation and example:

“The situation of producers of perishable and cyclical products is worsened as a concentrated retail structure in the United States and internal company operating procedures typically result in retailers not changing prices of perishable and cyclical prices at retail to reflect falling prices … .”

“In January 1996, prices of fresh tomatoes plummeted to as little as $0.04 per pound (from prices that more typically range from $0.25 to 0.40 per pound) at the farm level in the United States due to large volumes of imports from Mexico, while retail prices remained in the $1.00 to $1.80 per pound range.”

The NAFTA Renegotiation. The effort to come to agreement on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement would seem to be moving at a brisk pace. Three of the seven anticipated negotiating rounds have been completed, and the next one, the Fourth Round, is slated to be held next week (October 11-15 in Washington). We don’t know whether the negotiators have formally taken up the issue of perishable products or not, but it is a hot topic among the stakeholders.

More to the point, it is on the list of negotiating objectives that USTR published in July. It comes under the heading of Trade Remedies. The relevant sentence reads:

“Seek a separate domestic industry provision for perishable and seasonal products in AD/CVD [antidumping and countervailing duty] proceedings.”

Further, as those who favor such a provision are quick to point out, this particular U.S. negotiating objective flows directly from the law. That point was made recently by Florida’s two senators, Senator Bill Nelson (D) and Senator Marco Rubio (R). In a letter to Ambassador Lighthizer of August 31, they wrote:

“[W]e urge you to formally propose a NAFTA fix that would allow regional growers to use seasonal data for antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases.”

Pointing to the relevant law, they argued that:

“[A]ny agreement expecting fast track authority in Congress needs to meet the negotiating objectives set out in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Accountability Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-26), including ‘eliminating practices that adversely affect trade in perishable or cyclical products, while improving import relief mechanisms to recognize the unique characteristics of perishable and cyclical agriculture.’

“Failure to meet these objectives would clearly not meet the standards Congress has set for trade agreements and would threaten the viability of a renegotiated NAFTA.”

COMMENT

We shall keep these comments short. We should note first that neither every industry nor every Member of Congress is on board with the U.S. negotiating objective cited above. Not at all. We’ll consider that issue more closely in the next entry when we take up the topic of North American apple trade. Apples aside, however, when it comes to North American agriculture, Mexico has a very strong hand to play, as it is the top export market for a range of U.S. commodities, including wheat, pork (by volume), and dairy.

The issues surrounding perishable products are complicated enough, and that complexity is but a small fraction of the complexity that is the full NAFTA renegotiating effort. We  have no idea how the entire exercise will play out, and we readily confess that our principal concern is not with any specific provision but with the whole. One way or another, we hope the negotiators find a way to preserve the principal features of the agreement.

Returning to perishable commodities, we’ll conclude with two separate thoughts. It is an open question as to whether USTR will be able to bring home the bacon on this one, that is, to satisfy its own negotiating objective. No country will get all it wants. But the ability to choose from a range of options would seem to increase the likelihood of success, and in that respect the article by Stewart and Stewart is helpful. They offer several ideas, from the changes in AD/CVD law mentioned above, to continent wide marketing orders, to self-initiation of certain cases by the U.S. Government.

Finally, there is politics. Heaven forbid that anyone should act out of political motives in this process, but Florida’s place in American politics is worth bearing in mind. It is the third largest U.S. state by population. The first is California with 39 million people. Next is Texas with almost 28 million. And then comes Florida with 20.6 million. Unquestionably, however, Florida is the number one, quintessential swing state. The significance of that would be hard to overstate. Its agricultural sector has just suffered devastating losses from Hurricane Irma, and in 2018 the state will elect a new governor and possibly a new Senator. (His long history and solid approval rating suggest that Senator Nelson, a Democrat, will hold on to his seat, but he will have to defend it.) So, it seems a fair guess that when the Florida delegation clears its throat, the Administration will pay attention.

SOURCES AND LINKS

Tomato Worship takes you to the 2009 NPR report that was the source for today’s featured quote.

The Problem of Perishables is a link to the Stewart and Stewart article cited above.

From the Florida Senators is a link to the August 31 letter to Ambassador Lighthizer from Florida’s two senators, Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Marco Rubio.

The NAFTA Negotiating Objectives as published by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on July 17, 2017.

Originally published on October 6, 2017 as TTALK Quote No. 60 of 2017

© 2017, Global Business Dialogue, Inc.

NAFTA WITHDRAWAL AND THE LAW — SOME QUESTIONS

THE IMPLEMENTING ACT

“Even if President Trump has the authority to trigger U.S. withdrawal from the NAFTA without formal congressional approval, it is unclear whether withdrawal would automatically terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.”

White & Case Authors:
William Clinton, Scott S. Lincicome,
Brian Picone, Richard Eglin, and William Barrett

CONTEXT
On August 30, 2017, the above-named authors from the law firm  White & Case posted a paper on the firm’s website with the title “Termination or Modification of U.S. Trade Agreements.” In light of President Trump’s repeated threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals, their paper could hardly be more timely, more important, or more provocative.

The paper deals with the full range of U.S. trade agreements, from U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization, to NAFTA, to bilateral agreements like KORUS, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. While there are striking similarities in how the relevant laws handle the issue of withdrawal for different agreements, there are some significant differences as well. Over and above all the bits of legal language is the fact that “there is almost no precedent governing the legal provisions at issue here.”

The authors make that point in the very first paragraph of their paper, and they also make this one:

“[T]he provisions of these laws that govern potential U.S. withdrawal from FTAs do not expressly grant the President authority to withdraw from them.”

They further explain that:

“[E]ach U.S. trade agreement is actually governed by three different U.S. laws: the Trade Act of 1974; the specific version of TPA [Trade Promotion Authority] in effect at the time of the agreement’s implementation; and the act implementing the agreement’s specific commitments into U.S. law. In some cases, these laws contradict each other on the question at issue (e.g., tariff modification), thus raising significant questions regarding the proper statutory interpretation.”

You will want to read the full article for yourself. We’ll note here just one other observation from it. The White & Case authors have stated their uncertainty about the status of the act implementing NAFTA if the President were to withdraw from the agreement. We have made that today’s featured quote because we think it a question worth thinking about. It is also worth mentioning that the situation is somewhat clearer with respect to KORUS and other bilateral FTAs, because, as the White & Case paper explains, “the implementing acts state that the provisions set forth therein have no legal effect upon termination of the relevant FTA.”

COMMENT
Of course, if the U.S. pulling out of NAFTA is just a bit of scary rhetoric with no basis in reality, then maybe we can forget about the questions raised here. Or maybe not. Here we shall limit ourselves to the issues relating to NAFTA, leaving other agreements, such as KORUS and the WTO for another time.

Question No. 1.  Is it realistic to think that President Trump might decide to pull the United States out of NAFTA?  It is. He has often threatened to do just that, and the example of TPP suggests that such threats need to be taken seriously. We hasten to add that TPP was a negotiation, not a ratified or implemented agreement, but its history is still worth noting.

More to the point, people much closer to the negotiations than your editor are clearly worried. That came through loud and clear in the compelling op-ed article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by Thomas Donohue, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This vision [of a NAFTA pull-out by the U.S.] isn’t so far-fetched when you consider the increasingly precarious state of play in the effort to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement,” he wrote.

In the same piece, Mr. Donohue argued that “Quitting NAFTA would be an economic, political, and national-security disaster.”

Question No. 2. Does the President have the authority to pull out of NAFTA? Yes and maybe. Clearly the President thinks he has that authority, and, for the most part, the world agrees. Even Mr. Donohue said that pulling out “is within the White House’s authority.” That is not to say, however, that, if the President were to formally take the United States out of NAFTA, there wouldn’t be legal challenges to that action. Almost certainly, there would be, and in today fractious judicial environment it is hard to say how those challenges would play out.

Question No. 3. What will Congress do? At some point, Congress will do something. The 2016 election and the current drama over NAFTA and KORUS have challenged the assumptions that underpin an array of statutes. Politically, they beg the question, does it really make sense to legislate in the belief that a free-trade oriented Executive will always face a parochial and protectionist Congress? More fundamentally, these current developments pose a Constitutional challenge. If the President can undo major trading arrangements with the stroke of a pen, arrangements that are sanctified by Congress, codified in law, and that affect the lives of millions, does Congress really have the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign nations?”

To our knowledge no Congressional leader has forcefully confronted that issue head on. Not yet.  And there may be wisdom in that.  It doesn’t really make sense for Congress to take away the President’s leverage in the middle of a negotiation.

In the wake of a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, however, the issue would come to the fore quickly.  In the absence of such a withdrawal, on the other hand, all of this will remain largely academic,
with this exception.  The next time Congress writes a trade bill, our guess is that they will put some fresh thinking into the issues associated with getting out of it. And we may not have long to wait. After all, the current NAFTA negotiations might be successful.  We hope they are.  And the fruits of those negotiations might need an implementing bill. Opportunity awaits.

SOURCES & LINKS
The White and Case article  that was the starting point for this posting may not be current available on line.

Exiting Would be a Rotten Deal is the op-ed by Thomas Donohue mentioned above.

NAFTA and the President’s Promise is a link to the TTALK Quote for July 19, 2017, which focused on America’s negotiating objectives for the negotiations now underway to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Originally published on September 26 as TTALK No. 59 of 2017.

© 2017, The Global Business Dialogue, Inc.

TPP: BETTER WITHOUT AMERICA

A CANADIAN ON TPP

“What was a blessing for Western Canada–Asian markets finally opening–could be even better without the presence of U.S. competitors.”

Carlo Dade
July 26, 2017  (publication date) 

CONTEXT

On January 23, 2017 — just three days after taking the oath of office — President Trump issued a memorandum that announced America’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. While that action provoked a great deal of consternation around the world, it has not killed the TPP agreement. And not everyone is unhappy. Carlo Dade is among those who, to the contrary, see a world of advantages for Canada, especially Vancouver and environs, to a TPP that does not include the United States.

Mr. Dade is the Director of the Trade and Investment Centre at the Canada West Foundation. Today’s featured quote is from an article of his that was published in the Vancouver Sun on July 26. Yes, Canada’s ranchers and other agricultural producers should be able to gain market share in Asia at the expense of the U.S. if Canada and the other other ten TPP countries can conclude a revised TPP agreement. But that is only part of the potential Canadian advantage of a TPP without the U.S.

For Mr. Dade, there is more to the story. “It is not just beef and other commodity exporters that stand to gain,” he writes. “There are bigger opportunities on trade in services.” And, he adds, “For Vancouver, a TPP 11 is a chance to accelerate the movement of production, especially in services like high-tech, from the U.S.”

That is assuming, of course, that the remaining eleven can come to a final agreement on a new TPP, that is, one without the United States. Mr. Dade seems comfortable with that assumption. “All indications from media in TPP countries are that TPP 11 will indeed go ahead,” he writes.

COMMENT

Our guess — and it is only a guess — is that there is indeed a strong likelihood that TPP or some not too different successor to it will in fact come into being before too long. Whether the eleven will be able to wrap things up by November is another issue. It is their widely reported goal to have the deal essentially done by the time of the APEC Leaders’ meeting, which will be held in Da Nang, Vietnam, in early November.

Whether TPP is a done deal then or not, it should be an awfully interesting set of discussions. President Trump is planning to attend the Leaders’ meeting, though, obviously, not the side meetings of the TPP countries.

And, of course, one can only guess at how much intervening events will complicate things. Just as a taste, there was the July 28 announcement by Japan of a new “emergency tariff” on frozen imported beef. America is Japan’s largest supplier of that product and will be the hardest hit by that action. Even so, it has left countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with Japan — including Canada — envying countries like Australia that do have such an agreement. It has also given an added impetus to the TPP negotiations for those for whom they are still relevant.

***

Portland, Oregon, was not directly in the path of the full eclipse. But we were awfully close, which is to say that we did manage a brief twilight in the midst of an otherwise bright morning. That experience is over, but the metaphor lingers. With the signing of President Trump’s TPP withdrawal memorandum on January 23, we entered of a period of eclipse for America and TPP. U.S. policy makers and trade negotiators are now focused elsewhere, namely on the effort to revise and upgrade NAFTA.

But — thought for the day — maybe this fading of TPP is only a temporary eclipse. Certainly, if the other eleven manage to pull together enough to pull off a final deal, TPP will be an agreement that America will need to confront anew. If that happens, we will, with some enthusiasm, be dusting off an old adage: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

SOURCES & LINKS

TPP – The Vancouver Advantage is a link to an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun by Carlo Dade of the Canada West Foundation. This was the source for today’s quote.

Beef Tariffs Up is a report from the Omaha Herald on Japan’s decision at the end of July to impose “emergency” tariffs of 50 percent on frozen beef, mainly from the United States.

Focused on Getting it Done is a Nikkei report of August 9 highlighting the commitment of Australia and other remaining TPP countries to get the deal done this year.

TPP Issues for Congress is a 2013 paper on TPP by the Congressional Research Service, which is quite useful. .

Withdrawal Announced takes you to the President Memorandum of January 23, 2017, which announces and explains America’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Canada West is the website of the Canada West Foundation. The Foundation is based in Calgary, Alberta, the province’s largest city.

Originally published on August 21 as TTALK Quote No. 52 of 2017.

©2017 The Global Business Dialogue, Inc.