BEIJING -- The TPP is a trade pact dominated by the United States, which seeks to be the dominant power in writing rules for global trade and investment in this century. Another goal is, via the implementation of the TPP, to create an Asia-Pacific economic sphere that is also dominated by the United States, and to get the U.S. deeply involved in the Asia-Pacific economic integration process.
The new foreign investment law passed unanimously last Saturday by Cuba's National Assembly is a key component of President
The key to an improved future in the region is less political than it is economic. Democracy is a worthy goal, but it will be reached only slowly.
The economy faces a persistent budget crisis. Pushback from Wall Street has gutted most of the banking reforms, unemployment is stuck around 8 percent, corporate profits have been soaring while there is no wage growth -- and the newest White House proposal is... a free trade zone with Europe. This idea of a Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Area was tossed in, reportedly at the last moment, to President Obama's State of the Union, and is being promoted in the government's latest report on trade. You don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is a classic case of changing the subject to a cause that will not address any of the economy's deeper ills and could well worsen them. It recalls the very old joke about the drunk looking for his keys under a lamp post. He mentions to a cop that he lost the keys somewhere else, but "this is where the light is."
I applaud the concept of a unified region in the Middle East that would promote economic growth to millions of people in need. But it is once again an effort from the West to push a region to emulate its trading pattern. The West is not in the same turmoil as the MENA region.