President Obama and Paul Ryan have a hard time making the point that the Trans Pacific Partnership will benefit the US economy, so they are shifting to a "China will write the rules if we don't" argument.
In his weekend address, Obama said:
"If America doesn’t shape the rules of the global economy today, to benefit our workers, while our economy is in a position of new global strength, then China will write those rules".
Paul Ryan was quoted recently reading from the same playbook:
"So it all comes down to this question: Is China going to write the rules of the global economy, or are we?,"
This is desperate, empty and misleading rhetoric. China joined the WTO. The US and the West wrote the WTO rules. China joined. Most TPP countries are WTO members. So, didn't we already write the rules of global trade for China and Asia?
What went wrong and what are they doing to correct those errors?
If we are indeed writing the rules, why is the administration against dealing with all the tactics that frustrate the intent of the agreements? Like currency manipulation, localization rules, increasing border taxes, and denial of benefits to state-owned enterprises.
The TPP is a docking agreement. If Congress passes Fast Track, and then passes TPP, China could join without Congress being involved at all! Don't believe me?
Last week, an amendment was offered at the Senate Finance Committee Fast Track hearing to prevent China from docking on to TPP without congressional oversight. The Senators astoundingly REJECTED the amendment, offered by Senators Brown, Menendez, Stabenow, Casey, and Schumer. Here was the vote count: Ayes in favor, Nays against.
Ayes: Grassley, Portman, Schumer, Stabenow, Cantwell, Nelson, Menendez, Cardin, Brown, Bennet, Casey.
Nays: Hatch, Crapo, Roberts, Enzi, Cornyn, Thune, Burr, Isakson, Toomey, Coats, Heller, Scott, Wyden, Carper, Warner.