Returning to the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] is the most expeditious way to ensure that U.S. exporters face a level playing field with their competitors in pivotal Asian-Pacific markets. Lost market access is an especially acute problem for American farmers and ranchers attempting to reach notoriously closed Asian agriculture markets. Though the U.S. recently announced a limited deal with Japan that would reduce agriculture tariffs, cut a small number of industrial tariffs, and enshrine digital trade rules, joining the TPP provides greater market access and more comprehensive commercial, labor, and environmental protections than currently on offer.
Re-engaging with our Asian allies through the TPP provides an important strategic asset to the next president. Through this partnership, the United States provides countries in China’s orbit with an alternative market of similar size and a framework for dispute resolution based on rule of law rather than economic power. The U.S. will gain a vital tool of soft influence in the region that challenges Beijing and other Asia-Pacific countries to raise their commercial standards.The next president should quickly rejoin the TPP and encourage other regional countries like Thailand to accede to the agreement.