Democrats Poll Better for Senate, Trump Rethinks TPP
The conventional wisdom in the United States is that Democrats are likely to take control of the House of Representatives in November while Republicans are likely to defend their majority in the Senate.
Trump Agrees to Meet Kim, Trans Pacific Partnership Continues Without Him
Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from Kim Jong-un to meet one-on-one. It would be the first time a sitting American president met with the North Korean dictator.
North Korea craves international legitimacy, which the United States have deliberately withheld. Trump’s break with decades of policy is risky — but it’s not if existing policy has worked. North Korea remains a rogue state. It has only continued its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.
The challenge now, as Fred Kaplan writes in Slate, is organizing a careful diplomacy that includes coordinating common negotiating positions with Japan and South Korea.
Unfortunately, Trump has yet to appoint an ambassador to Seoul. The State Department’s top North Korea expert has resigned. None of the three top foreign-policy officials in Trump’s government — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — have much experience in Asia.
In Era of Trump, Australia Looks to China for Leadership on Trade
Australia isn’t waiting for Donald Trump to assume office in January before recalibrating its foreign relations.
The island nation — America’s most reliable ally in the Pacific — has thrown its support behind Chinese trade initiatives now that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) appears dead.
Steven Ciobo, Australia’s trade minister, told the Financial Times he would work to conclude new trade pacts with other countries in the region, including China’s proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific. Read more
American Leadership in Pacific at Stake If Trump Cancels Trade Pact
One of the first victims of Donald Trump’s election victory in the United States could be the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a comprehensive trade agreement that the outgoing president, Barack Obama, had hoped to enact in the waning days of his administration.
Many Republicans in the Senate, and quite a few Democrats, support free trade in principle and understand the strategic value of the pact.
But they may balk at ratifying the treaty now that Trump, who campaigned explicitly on an anti-trade platform, is two months away from the presidency. Read more
Democrats are gambling if they’re proposing to get the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement through the Senate after the election in November.
Hillary Clinton, the party’s presidential nominee, has raised doubts about the treaty, saying it doesn’t do enough to create jobs and raise wages.
Her vice presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, also says he can’t support the treaty in its current form, despite being one of just thirteen Democratic senators who voted last year to give President Barack Obama so-called fast-track authority to negotiate the pact.
Their newfound skepticism of the agreement, which proposes to liberalize 40 percent of the world’s trade, is a gesture to supporters of Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist from Vermont who challenged Clinton during the Democratic primaries.
Although polls show a majority of Democratic Party voters support free trade, left-wing activists have made common cause with trade unions to resist TPP.
Clinton and Kaine could hardly change their minds again after the election. Their hope is getting the treaty ratified before the next president is sworn in in January. Read more