The first thing that President Donald Trump did when he assumed the reigns of power was sign an executive order nullifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal that was heavily pushed by Republican and Democratic globalists alike that would have increased so-called free trade zones while chipping away at American sovereignty.
Without any U.S. involvement, the deal – now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – continues forward with Japan taking the lead. They have tentatively signed onto the deal along with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Without Japan being involved, it is expected that the agreement would fall apart.
“If Japan were to fail to ratify the agreement, no one else will do so,” said Deborah Elms, executive director of the Singapore-based Asian Trade Centre, to the South China Morning Post. “A supply chain deal needs its leader.”
The deal’s progress is experiencing turbulence as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has pushed relentlessly for the CPTPP, may be leaving office in disgrace soon following a corrupt land deal that was linked to his wife. Abe was forced to resign in 2007 as Prime Minister following a set of scandals as well.
This has allowed the CPTPP’s opposition, led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, to gain influence, but observers do not believe that this will jeopardize the CPTPP’s ratification. If he is eventually ousted, Abe’s likely successors are globalists expected to support the CPTPP.
“My sense is that Japan will ratify the agreement notwithstanding Abe’s troubles,” said Matthew Goodman, a senior adviser at Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies whose specialty is Asian economics.
Regardless of whether or not the deal ultimately gets ratified, it should raise eyebrows that so many of the bureaucrats behind the TPP or the CPTPP are embroiled in corruption.
Originally Published at Populist Brief.