The TPP is dead - and Donald Trump killed it
The TPP is dead - and Donald Trump killed it.
In one of his first actions as President, Donald Trump issued an executive order yesterday officially withdrawing the United States from that massive so-called free trade deal.
Speaking to reporters as he signed the order, Trump called it a win for American workers.
OK. Great Thing for the American worker what we just did.
Later on in the day, Trump held a meeting with union leaders to celebrate the death of the TPP, and afterwards he hinted that his executive action was the start of a new era in American trade policy.
And we can have trade. We're going to have one-on-one. And if somebody misbehaves we're going to send them a letter of termination, 30 days, and they'll either straighten it out or we're gone. Not one of these deals where you can't get out of them and it's a disaster. So we'll have plenty of trade. But TPP wasn't the right way.
Killing the TPP and moving towards a more traditional trade policy makes good on one of Trump's biggest campaign promises.
It also puts Democrats in a very awkward position.
Fighting for sensible trade policies has historically been a Democratic position - at least in the modern era - and it's always been Democrats who've led the charge in Congress against NAFTA, CAFTA, and all the other job-killing trade deals.
But now it's Trump and the Republicans who are talking the talk on trade - and not just about the TPP.
The Trump administration is also reportedly going to try to renegotiate NAFTA.
So - what should progressives do?
Should they work with Trump to help achieve one of their most important policy goals?
Or would that legitimize a President who - regardless of what he says about the TPP - still poses a serious threat to American workers and American democracy?