As expected, President Trump has pulled the US out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  This is not surprising as it was a major campaign issue.  The fact that the US is out of the TPP has meant that many countries who had already ratified the agreement are doubting whether they will remain in it since without the US it is no longer the global agreement they had bargained for.  We will have to wait and see what other countries do at this point, but certainly for the founder members of the TPP, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia this represents a blow.  They have the ACEP (China’s Economic Partnership Agreement) to fall back on, but the China deal does nothing to roll back the behind the border barriers and Anti-competitive distortions that the TPP had uniquely addressed.  All is not lost, as Britain’s leaving the EU means that many of the TPP nations can be coalesced into a new partnership for prosperity by working together to build the Prosperity Zone.  The original idea of a group of like-minded countries pushing back the new trade barriers that afflict trade in the 21st century was originally floated by Governor Mitt Romney in his Presidential bid in 2008.  Our Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission Chairman, Shanker Singham worked on that concept as a senior trade advisor to Governor Romney’s presidential campaign.  Nine years on, the pre-conditions are, if anything more urgent.  The multilateral trade round, the Doha Development Agenda is now dead (it was merely stalled in 2008), TTIP and TPP appear dead too, and there is little good news on the trade agreement horizon. Meantime, the siren voices of protectionism seem to be gathering ever more adherents.  Now is the time to boldly strike out towards the Prosperity Zone which catalyse a revitalization of global trade and global economic institutions.  See the link attached for a way forward.

Trade Tools for the 21st Century