Last weekend, along with a string of other executive orders, President Donald Trump destroyed the many years of negotiations that had culminated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The TPP is a free trade deal meant to loosen the restrictions and regulations between 11 states around the Pacific Rim. This deal would open up their markets to U.S. industries, simultaneously opening our market to foreign industries.
Economically, the TPP is a wonderful plan. Foreign investors can invest in U.S. industries, our economic sphere of influence will dominate Asia, and we’ll have access to foreign markets. Increased free trade can give us standardized, and therefore cheaper, goods.
Politically, it’s even better. By linking us closer in trade we ensure that the future of Asia does not belong to communist China, guaranteeing that Asia will remain friendly to Western ideals.
The cons of the TPP are few and simple. Americans who are in nonviable industries will lose their jobs. Painful as that is, this is the cost of doing business in a capitalist society.
So why do people oppose the TPP?
The only possible answer is fear of competition. These people believe that America is not capable of competing in the foreign market. After dealing with the harsh realities of capitalism, these Americans are now sniveling to the government for protection.
You can be afraid of globalism; that is your right. But to cower at the sound of the word and then claim you’re a capitalist is hypocrisy incarnate. For nearly 300 years, capitalism has been one long push towards globalism. A global economy is the natural successor to the economic model Americans hold so dear.
Industrial jobs are disappearing in America. And that’s okay. The economic strength of any given country is no longer measured by how many factories it has. It is a good thing that the majority of Americans do not have to make their living by slaving away on an assembly line. Those workers who lost their jobs to the TPP should be retrained and reutilized into fields of viability instead of insisting the government prolongs the death of a dying industry at the expense of our future.
The nature of a capitalist society is creative destruction: tearing down the old to build a stronger future. Imagine if, two decades ago, the government had stopped the creation of Amazon because Barnes and Noble and Blockbuster would have been run out of business.
Trump’s protectionism is grotesquely inefficient, shrinks the economy and is ripe for corruption. It is the economic models of despots and failed empires. Removing ourselves from the TPP will lead to an Asia dominated by China, more expensive American goods and a smaller economy in general.
We are scrapping the future of innovation because it would put steel and coal workers out of work. If we can buy better steel at lower prices from South Korea, why shouldn’t we? Should we make entrepreneurs use the money they would use to hire more workers or lower the prices of American goods to buy worse steel at a higher price?
I am a proud American who believes in the exceptionalism of our nation. So the whimpering notion that our nation is not strong enough to compete in the foreign market disgusts me to my core. Hypocrites who beat their chests about how great America is but go sniveling to the government for protection at the first sign of competition make me cringe.
Some Americans merely dip their toes into a competitive free market, undergoing the bare minimum of difficulties and are then so stricken with fear that they are willing to destroy their children’s future, our future, rather than deal with the difficulties of competition.
Capitalism is brutal. Competition is brutal. Resisting the TPP is not only economically or politically stupid, but fundamentally un-American.