Ezra Klein interviews economist Adam Posen in Vox, Why one top economist thinks Obama’s trade deal is worth passing. Reviewing Posen’s six arguments:
#1 has been pre-rebutted by Dean Baker.
As for #2, AYFKM? He doesn’t actually expect anyone to buy that sum of trade deficits < growth line as a serious argument in favor, does he? In contrast to Posen, EPI bloggers have provided reality-based arguments the economics won’t play out well for US workers – see, e.g., Robert Scott and Josh Bivens and Robert Scott again.
#3 is a legitimate argument against. (Keeping score: Pro-TPP 0, Anti-TPP 3. We continue…)
Posen claims in #4 that the deal has not been negotiated in secret. Again, AYFKM? If what he claims is true then where were copies available? If copies were available for review and discussion all this time then there’s been a horrible misunderstanding. Let’s get this straightened out. Where were copies available? As for “Everything will be revealed …”? Weasel words. The purpose of revealing the document late in the game is to make sure that people don’t have the opportunity to inspect it and ask substantive questions. If the document was chock full of goodness then there would be no problem exposing it to the light of day. People would see how great it is and line up in support of it. If the creators are afraid to expose it to natural light then that should give everyone else pause.
Dean Baker also pre-rebutted #5.
As for #6, I might re-title it “Springtime for Rentiers.” (And “We have seen what the US orientation and anchor has meant to Mexico, Columbia, and Chile.”? I’m having a hard time choking that one down.)
How should the opposition proceed? I believe outright defeat of the TPP is an extreme long shot so I’m with Barney Frank: Let’s make a deal.