U.S. presidential and congressional candidates may be falling over themselves to disavow the freshly negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but the trade deal isn't dead, John Negroponte, a storied former U.S. diplomat told the Credit Suisse Megatrends conference in Singapore Thursday.
The TPP is a trade and investment agreement among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam. The accord includes several policies that would make trade and investment run more smoothly between Pacific countries — key among them is lowering tariffs.
"Trade is a politically tragic issue in our country and it has to do with globalization and this sort of apprehension in the minds of people that somehow jobs are being lost as a result of globalization. That is not a new preoccupation," Negroponte, who was ambassador to Mexico from 1989-1993 and was involved in the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), said. That deal was also a political hot potato, with then candidate Ross Perot famously claiming it would result in a "giant sucking sound" as U.S. jobs were sent to Mexico.