Administration gives up on TPP … ? Congressional leaders to focus on domestic issues

“It’s not going to be brought up,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Republican congressional leaders have said they are focused on domestic issues, to lay the groundwork with Trump to pass health care and tax reform legislation next year. The USTR said Friday “ultimately it is a legislative process, and the final step is for Congress to take.” And White House officials said,  “In terms of the TPP agreement itself, Leader McConnell has spoken to that, and it’s something that he’s going to work with the president-elect to figure out where they go in terms of trade agreements in the future.”

On Friday, Nov 11, 5:55 p.m. in Washington (and early Saturday morning, Nov 12, 5:55 a.m. in Vietnam), the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers reported that “Obama Administration Gives Up on Pacific Trade Deal: Congressional GOP leaders indicated they wouldn’t consider Trans-Pacific Partnership in lame-duck session”

“Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress told the White House they won’t advance it in the election’s aftermath, and Obama administration officials acknowledged it has no way forward now.”

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Matthew McAlvanah, a spokesman for U.S. trade representative Mike Froman, said Friday that despite all the work the administration has done with lawmakers on Capitol Hill “ultimately it is a legislative process, and the final step is for Congress to take.”

The White House / National Security Council
White House officials preparing for Mr. Obama’s trip to meet Pacific leaders in Peru appeared to acknowledge the defeat on Friday. “In terms of the TPP agreement itself, Leader McConnell has spoken to that, and it’s something that he’s going to work with the president-elect to figure out where they go in terms of trade agreements in the future,” said Wally Adeyemo, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.

What’s ahead for Trade and TPP now? Nov 14, The Reverie Hotel
An overview of the trade environment after the U.S. elections. The relevance and importance of TPP in this new environment for apparel, footwear, and travel goods.

Read more … 

Administration gives up on Pacific trade deal, Wall Street Journal, Nov 11, 2016

What is lost by burying the TPP? New York Times, Nov 12, 2016

Donald Trump promised to rip up trade deals. TPP is the first casualty, Washington Post, Nov 12, 2016

TPP in the U.S. Congress lame duck session; Vietnam – U.S. trade Some in the Administration continued to hope there was a possibility to approve the TPP in the lame duck session. But both Republican and Democratic congressional leaders said the TPP would not be considered in the lame duck session. Links to articles with Congressional leaders comments, and trenchant commentary on the meaning of the election results in the United States.

Background Information re Vietnam-U.S. Trade

In September 2013 a delegation of global apparel and footwear companies visited HCM City, met with AmCham, the People’s Committee, VCCI, VITAS, LEFASO, to discuss moving production from China to Vietnam. They said, “We are leaving China, with or without the TPP, and we want to know if Vietnam will welcome and support us.” The answer then and now was and is “Yes.” And the results are clear: Vietnam’s share of the U.S. textiles and apparel imports grew from 7.1% in 2011 to 10.8% this year, while China’s share fell from 40.1% to 36.8%. This trend will continue.
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The below chart shows strong growth in overall trade between the Vietnam and the U.S., and Vietnam’s increasing share of U.S. imports from ASEAN, at 25% in 2016 and likely to reach over 30% by 2020.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-13-28-38

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The Director General of the WTO visited Hanoi on April 15, 2016 to meet with Vietnam’s government and business leaders. He told them that “For Viet Nam, the Trade Facilitation Agreement could reduce trade costs by as much as 20%. Cutting a fifth off the cost of trading would make a huge difference. It will help to boost trade flows in Viet Nam. It will support SMEs to start exporting. And, in a time when production chains have been globalised, it will help the economy to connect to cross-border production networks.” Vietnam ratified the TFA in Dec 2015.

The key point for Vietnam going forward is that, even without TPP, Vietnam can earn substantial benefits (exports and GDP growth) by (1) Vietnam companies learn about and meet the requirements to join global supply chains and (2) Vietnam government agencies implement administrative procedures reform, such as the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement commitments. In fact, these two factors were considered the most important for Vietnam to benefit from the TPP’s positive impact. With robust implementation of global integration policies, supported by U.S. technical assistance such as the Vietnam Trade Facilitation Alliance, Vietnam and U.S. trade and investment will continue to grow at a fast clip.

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