The Trans-Pacific Partnership - the mega-trade treaty - is dead.
I am not going to opine on the merits of various provisions in that trade treaty. (There were several I did not like...)
However lets take the thirty year helicopter view.
Thirty years of an aggressive trade and investment treaty (like the TPP) results in your economy becoming intertwined with your partners' economies.
And with the TPP there is a dominant party - the United States.
Your economy becoming intertwined with a dominant economy has a name: hegemony.
The TPP would have eventually meant sustained US hegemony.
But that is dead.
The TPP did not die in a vacuum. A bunch of countries north of Australia want to have guaranteed open access to big markets and they will wind up signing a trade treaty. This time they will sign with the economy that will honour their commitments: China.
And in thirty years time there will for the countries of Australia's north be a hegemony: a Chinese hegemony.
At the moment the Chinese border is ten hours flying time north of Australia.
Look forward thirty years and we have a border of Chinese hegemony at Indonesia.
I would prefer a democracy having hegemony. I think most of my readers would too. But we have that choice no longer.
PS. This thought is not original. The US Defence Secretary stated that the TPP is as important as another aircraft carrier. He is not wrong.
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