Revenge of the TPP?

Anchored container ships and with other vessels sit offshore near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back on the menu for a number of Asia-Pacific countries. And with America on the sidelines, U.S. exports could suffer.

Looking ahead, the TPP is back on the menu for a number of Asia-Pacific countries. Out of the new trade order in Asia, Japan and China (not in the TPP) are leading the way, reflecting a return to Asia’s more traditional geopolitical hierarchy. In this changing economic and political landscape the United States has become the outlier and, if not careful, will find its ability to project its economic influence waning. Tillerson is right in saying there is a lot of work yet to be done and some of it is justified, but as time marches on it will be U.S. exports, companies and workers that could bear the brunt of moving from a driving force to an outlier.

Scott B. MacDonald is chief economist for Smith’s Research and Gradings.

Image: Reuters

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