19:44 GMT05 June 2020
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    The Obama Administration has abandoned all hope of enacting the controversial TPP, Pacific trade pact, just days after Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential race, according to Wall Street Journal. Senior Fellow on the Global Economy Philip Levy spoke to Sputnik about the prospects of the TPP deal.

    "It has certainly gone into hibernation a bit. It’s not moving forward any time in the immediate future. I think there will still be pressure to do trade deals", Levy said.

    Talking about what Donald Trump has said about this deal, the economist said that the new president-elect stressed the requirement of doing more trade deals. Trump had complaints about the TPP just like his opponent Clinton did.

    Levy further said that modern commerce or modern trade has a fundamental challenge there. The challenge is to understand the product itself, whether it is allowed and what costly standards need to be met.

    “We very much want standards that ensure public health and safety. We don’t want to have standards that are disguised protectionism. The question is how do you separate the two? They both look like the other and hence you need to push for these agreements as a way to sort that all out,” Levy said.

    TPP was the US’ main pivot to Asia. Talking about how much of a blow its “demise” is going to have on the American foothold in the region, the economist said that if it just plain dies it will look like the US is turning its back on the region.

    “I am hopeful that it’s not what will happen. Just a little bit of history can be helpful here. We had 8 years ago a president who ran against the trade agreements, who tabled the TPP when he got into office and showed little interest in any of that — that was Barack Obama,” Levy said.

    However, later on it became clear to Obama that contrary to his campaign rhetoric, having some of these commercial deals was very important for the US’ standing in Asia and he decided to reengage.

    “If we are lucky we will have president-elect Trump making similar decision,” Levy said.

    He further spoke about China pushing for their own trade agreement, such as regional comprehensive partnership and whether all these other deals should be seen as TPP rivals.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal which involves 12 nations accounting for over 40 percent of the global economy has been negotiated in secret for years.

    President Barack Obama reportedly hoped to have the deal approved by Congress before he turns over the White House to Trump, but on Wednesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that the TPP would not be considered in the lame-duck session.

    Related:

    Kerry Warns of the Eclipse of US Power in Asia Without TPP
    Obama Administration Abandons Efforts to Reach Deal With US Congress on TPP
    China Developing Two Free Trade Deals for Asia-Pacific as TPP Loses Momentum
    Putin: Attempts to Create Nontransparent Projects Like TTIP, TPP 'Regrettable'
    Tags:
    negotiations, campaign, commerce, interview, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Asia-Pacific
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