New Report Suggests the TPP Is Barely Worth Worrying About

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As required by law, the US International Trade Commission has completed its analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership. They used a dynamic computable general equilibrium model for their analysis, which concluded that the economic impact of the TPP would be…pretty close to zero. The chart on the right is my feeble attempt to add some color to this, and you can see that no part of the economy is affected by so much as 1 percent. Or half a percent. It’s more in the neighborhood of a quarter of a percent three decades from now.

Generally speaking, I’d say this means you should mostly ignore the economic aspects of TPP. The benefits will be minuscule and the damages will be minuscule. The error bars on a 30-year forecast are just too big to say anything more. Instead, you should focus on other aspects of the agreement. How will it affect poor countries in Asia? Is it a useful bulwark against the growing influence of China? What do you think of extending US patent and trademark rules throughout the world? All of those things are real. The economic impact is basically a crapshoot.

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