The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed more than twenty years ago. As for how successful it’s been? Well, that depends on who you ask.
Fast forward to 2015, where Republican leadership in Congress and the White House are hoping to use the same procedure that was used to pass NAFTA to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The rule, called “fast-track” would allow the deal to be forced through without any amendments or real debate. If the Obama Administration were to receive fast-track authority, Congress could be given a finished deal which would have to be voted on, yes or no, within 90 days and without debate or amendments.
The TPP would be the largest trade deal in history, involving about 40 percent of the world’s economy and countries stretching from Japan to Chile. Opponents of the agreement say it would drive up unemployment numbers and lock in a rigid set of economic rules that could last forever, and that fast-tracking the deal would put it into law before anyone has a chance to understand it. Supporters say the deal would be a vast improvement to American trade, because it addresses certain issues that weren’t covered by NAFTA.
Do you think the TPP should be fast-tracked? What are the pros and cons of doing so? What would the TPP’s impact on the U.S. and global economy be if it were passed?
Derek Scissors, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C., where he studies trade as well as Asian economic issues and trends.
Peter Navarro, professor of business at the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. He’s also the director of the Netflix documentary, Death By China.