Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump Didn’t Actually Save Us from TPP, Here’s Why

Republicans have been advancing the party line by praising President Trump for “saving America from TPP” or “formally withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”  The ones singing President Trump’s praises the loudest are the far-right libertarians and anarchists in the movement who have lately become apologists for state-worship and anything the new regime does.

I give credit where credit is due: it’s a good thing that the US won’t be a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and joining TPP was one of the areas where I publicly disagreed with my candidate, Gary Johnson.  The Ron Paul Liberty Report said, “President Trump did not get rid of a free trade deal. The TPP was a secretive, 5,000 page deal between governments and the crony corporations that tango with them. Free trade was nowhere to be found.”

However, President Trump did not actually save the US from TPP.  In the end, all that his anti-TPP executive order did was knock down a boogeyman.

Though President Trump’s order made it known that his administration will oppose the TPP, there will be plenty of other instances for severe crony capitalism to occur under the new regime.  Furthermore, I’m interested to see the results of the tariff wars President Trump will instigate.  In these tariff wars, America will either see a dramatic rise in the cost of consumer goods, or “the most libertarian administration ever” will ask Congress to steal from the taxpayers to subsidize these tariffs on imported, keeping prices lower.  This means taxpayers will be paying for the privilege of not having to pay more money specifically at the checkout stand.

The second reason this is mostly political theater is simply that THE U.S. IS NOT, AND NEVER HAS BEEN, A MEMBER OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP.

The seven-year-long international negotiations for TPP only came to a close in February of 2016.  Congress has not yet ratified it.  TPP is literally not a thing in this country—it was only ever the boogeyman in political debates.  It’s like the political version of Red Ribbon Week in elementary school, where teachers and school children already not on drugs loudly pledge to be drug-free.

This executive order was political theater, and the pro-murder Helicopter Libertarians are dancing and celebrating and giving him a free pass before his words are actually carried out by the political/coercive class.  This isn’t very different from the left-libertarians dancing for joy when President Obama signed in January 2009 the executive order shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.  Eight years later, Camp X-Ray still stands and is still funded by Congress.

Dr. Paul's news service said, “While President Trump deserves a compliment for today, he unfortunately has other government interventions up his sleeve to prevent us from freely and peacefully exchanging with one another.”

To be fair, I do give the President a nod of respect and approval for helping the USA steer clear of TPP.  But I won’t be convinced until the political/coercive class follows through on the executive order, and Congress formally rejects TPP and actually justifies the premature celebration of the Helicopter Libertarians.  Since America was never a part of the Partnership anyway, and now likely never will, the President is merely knocking down a boogeyman.  

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Image courtesy of The Libertarian Republic

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