Acknowledging that the US Congress is now unlikely to ratify the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the White House has said it was a “significant missed opportunity” for the American people.”I would acknowledge that the prospects of TPP being ratified by this Congress or before President Obama leaves are not very good,” White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters at his daily news conference when asked about the announcement of the president-elect Donald Trump that he would withdraw from the TPP on his first day in office.
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“If Congress does not move forward with ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it is a significant missed opportunity for the American people, in part because there were some pretty clear signals from other TPP countries that they actually intend to move forward, even if the United States does not. And that’s going to put US businesses and US workers at a disadvantage,” he argued.
“You’ve got other countries with significant economies, and growing economies, where the US already does business, but US businesses and US workers are going to be put at a disadvantage because we don’t benefit from the kinds of opportunities that are created by the TPP,” he said.”You will see other countries who are part of TPP move in and capitalise on the market share that US companies have lost in the Asia Pacific. And that’s a real shame,” Earnest said.
Earnest said China would benefit the most from this decision. “Even as we speak, China is seeking to advance their own trade agreement with countries in this region that we know is going to further disadvantage US businesses and US workers.”The fact is, the US will be consequentially negatively affected by the refusal of the Congress to ratify the TPP in terms of lost opportunities and lost market share, but also in terms of lower standards being implemented by China,” Earnest said.
Top Republican Senator John McCain echoed the White House. Trump’s decision will forfeit the opportunity to promote American exports, reduce trade barriers, open new markets, and protect American invention and innovation, he rued.”It will create an opening for China to rewrite the economic rules of the road at the expense of American workers. Already, China is intensifying its push for a new regional trade agreement, which excludes the United States,” McCain said.
“Whatever happens to TPP, America must press forward with a positive trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific that will keep American workers and companies competitive in one of the most economically vibrant and fastest-growing regions in the world,” McCain said.