January 4, 2018
Reports out of London suggest the United Kingdom is exploring the idea of joining the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a long-standing goal of the erstwhile Obama administration and his failed, would-be successor Hillary Clinton.
In the U.S., the TPP deal was resoundingly rejected by workers, citizens, and conservative lawmakers, but it remained a favourite of the political establishment right until the last election.
Effectively, TPP is like a European Commission for Asia, replete with unelected trade commissioners, common regulatory standards, and even the prospect of open borders between the signatory nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
It is palpably absurd for the UK to be leaving one supranational institution — the European Union (EU) — in favour of joining another one on the other side of the world. Government minister Greg Hands semi-defended the idea in the Financial Times, stating: “Nothing is excluded in all of this… With these kind of plurilateral relationships, there doesn’t have to be any geographical restriction.”
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