I think the best option to start out is to look at where we’re at and where we’ll be in terms of global positioning with or without TPP. When you figure out the position you’ll be in, think about what else would put you in that same position irrespective of TPP and what percentage of that outcome would still happen even if we don’t have TPP.

Next, I think we should think about our role in the world. We’re helpers. We help everyone. We’re suffering now and need some help, but what happens if we don’t help other countries anymore? When you take that away from those other countries, will they side with someone else? What position will that put us in, and would that position be better or worse than if we’d just absorbed the negatives as well as the positives of TPP?

Finally, if you think TPP is bad, you should ensure that, hearing any whiff of it, you contact your Congressperson and vehemently boycott TPP and tie it to any reelection potential of that Congressperson.

If you support TPP, you need to do so much more. You need to rally together. You need to tell Trump that we understand the risks to ourselves and that we still want TPP because, in the long-run, we’ll be worse off without it. We’ll need to campaign for TPP at a time when it’s politically impossible to do so. You’ll need to show your support. You’ll need to let your Congressperson know about your push to reawaken support for TPP and hope that they know how to discuss it with other Congresspeople it without losing political capital. There are plenty of people still supporting it but doing so in the weeds and underground because it’s political suicide right now. Maybe if we get term limits, we’ll get more people who will think long-term because, in the short-term, some of them can’t be reelected anyway. We also need to reach out to the other countries and let them know that we support them and that TPP should exist. We need them to know that we do want TPP, that we haven’t emotionally abandoned them, and that there are just enough people here to temporarily overpower us but that we’ll be back and have never stopped thinking about them. It’s crucial for foreign policy that these individual, social media, small business, non-profit and for-profit relationships are maintained, strengthened, and at the forefront of what decisions these countries make so they don’t start partnering with other countries to our exclusion. We won’t get them back if we don’t do this.

One international initiative we can support is #MakeInIndia. We can also tell our Congresspeople to sanction China or incentivize relocation of U.S. businesses out of China and into other countries. We can start creating business partnerships with countries that compete with China, like Vietnam, the Philippines, and others both vulnerable to economic influence and perhaps a little worried that we’re not supporting them enough.

Finally, we need to be strong. We need to understand that forces outside the United States have put us in a compromised position where we’re considering compromising foreign policy positions that ensure strong alliances in favor of focusing on domestic issues. We’ve been hurt. We need to understand that this is temporary and that, until those forces have been checked, they’ll continue. We need to understand that we can absorb some more suffering while we counter their abuse. We need to realize, when you’re down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and there’s no more Gatorade and no more timeouts and you’re so tired, that we can still do it. Maybe go watch 300or something. That ought to inspire you. Haha. We all know what needs to be done. We just have to strong enough to support what we know is right and to do so with reckless abandon, to work for it until we pass out, and realize that we’ll get there. We will. Our way of life has, at least partially, been used against us by forces outside the United States that want to wipe us off the map, but we will prevail as long as we keep chipping away at it.

You’ve reached the end of Series 12: Trans-Pacific Partnership

Read Full Essay

Leave a Reply