NEW YORK – By signing a presidential memorandum withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, President Trump completed half the job of removing the United States from the two-ocean globalist plan advanced by the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
What remains is for Trump to sign a counterpart presidential memorandum withdrawing from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.
After obtaining “fast track” authority to push TPP through Congress with no amendments and little debate, the Obama administration had calculated the passage of the TTIP would be reduced to a rubber-stamp decision.
But the 15th round of Trans-Pacific negotiations was conducted in New York from Oct. 3-6, 2016, without conclusion. And, as feared by U.S. and EU government trade officials, the TTIP negotiations failed to reach a final agreement before President Obama’s term in office ended.
Obama’s launching of the negotiations to put TTIP in place began with a detailed exploratory process at the November 2011 U.S.-EU Summit, which took place with little notice by establishment media.
‘Firmly in the freezer’
While the presidential memorandum withdrawing from TPP makes no mention of TTIP, all information related to TTIP has been wiped from the White House website.
As of Tuesday, however, the website of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative continued to post detailed information on TTIP negotiations, with no indication Trump’s withdrawal from TPP had any negative effect on TTIP moving forward.
“The EU and the United States have made considerable progress in negotiating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) agreement since the negotiations were launched in July 2013,” reads the last joint U.S.-EU progress report on TTIP, dated Jan. 17, 2017, three days prior to Trump’s inauguration.
“During that period, the economic and strategic rationale for an agreement between the world’s two largest advanced industrial economies has only grown stronger,” the statement continues. “TTIP would increase the exports and investment flows that fuel our economies and support high quality jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. It would also enable the EU and the United States, drawing on our common values and interests, to develop and promote together common high standards in the global economy, leveling the playing field for our producers, exporters, and workers.”
But EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström conceded in a speech Tuesday in Brussels that TTIP likely died with Trump’s decision to withdraw from TPP.
“The election of Donald Trump seems likely to put our EU-U.S. negotiations firmly in the freezer, at least for a while,” Malmström said.
“We will pursue our trade agenda in the coming months with those like-minded nations. We will continue to make the case of the benefits of the EU trade policy for all, communicating and listening to EU citizens, workers, consumers and business,” she continued.
“But building a wall is not the answer. Those who, in the 21st century, think that we can become great again by rebuilding borders, reimposing trade barriers, restricting people’s freedom to move, are doomed to fail.”
Globalist ‘free-trade’ dream in retreat
As WND previously reported, Obama announced in his 2013 State of the Union address the addition of the Atlantic free-trade agreement to the agenda already in place to create the TPP.
In that address, Obama told Congress and the American people:
To boost American exports, support American jobs and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I’m announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.
But with the election of Trump, who made withdrawing from TPP a major part of his presidential campaign, American voters apparently rejected the objective of Congress to dwarf NAFTA and sideline the World Trade Organization by implementing the two-ocean TPP-TTIP plan.
The TTIP dream dates back nearly a decade. As WND reported in 2007, President George W. Bush, at a summit meeting in Washington with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the president of the EU Commission, Manuel Barroso, signed an agreement creating “a permanent body” that committed the U.S. to “deeper transatlantic economic integration.”
The “Transatlantic Economic Integration” agreement put in place the Transatlantic Economic Council to be chaired in the U.S. by a Cabinet-level officer in the White House and on the EU side by a member of the European Commission.
As of Tuesday, the U.S. State Department website continued to display information regarding the Transatlantic Economic Council, TEC, with no suggestion the office had been affected by Trump’s decision to withdraw from TPP.