Mexico Reaping Rewards from the TPP

In the article “American Jobs Leaving for Mexico – Ford Motors Just Showed Us What the TPP Will Do to the US Economy” (http://www.dcclothesline.com/2016/02/11/american-jobs-leaving-for-mexico-ford-motors-just-showed-us-what-the-tpp-will-do-to-the-us-economy/) , a recent announcement from Ford Motors is discussed due to the TPP, as well as other future actions that TPP may cause. Per the article Ford Motor Company recently announced plans to manufacture 500,000 vehicles at a new facility in Mexico. This announcement comes at the heels of a similar announcement by General Motors, who announced a $5 billion investment to double its productions capacity in Mexico by the year 2018. Is this caused directly by the TPP? “While the TPP has been touted by politicians as an extraordinary benefit to the US, Mexico’s labor costs will instead help that country’s economy reap the rewards, already evidencing the enormous trade deal’s similarities to NAFTA(the North American Free Trade Agreement), which many have come to view as a disaster for the US”. According to the article, Ford’s announcement comes after negotiations by the United Auto Workers union for more expensive labor contracts. Incidentally, hourly rates in the US are already around five times greater than those in Mexico, and are expected to expand further in the future. Will this trend continue with other auto manufacturing companies? Will it extend to other manufacturing industries as well?

Trouble Behind the Scenes

In a recent article in the HuffPost, side talks between the U.S. and Japan during crucial TPP negotiations is discussed. Japanese officials reported that they were under the impression that the U.S. was representing both Canada and Mexico. Canadian and Mexican officials disputed this fact and were upset by the Japanese assumption. The negotiations were to allow more Japanese auto parts into the North American auto industry. How may Japanese relations with Canada and Mexico be affected in the future? How may U.S. relations with Canada and Mexico be affected? How may Japanese and U.S. relations be affected?

Scott Morrison vetoes ‘rear view’ analysis of Trans-Pacific Partnership

According to an article published on February 17th, 2016 in The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/17/scott-morrison-vetoes-rear-view-analysis-of-trans-pacific-partnership, the Treasurer of Australia, Scott Morrison, has ruled out conducting a “rear view” analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership, stating that the Australian government is already satisfied with its projected benefits. The only official analysis of the trade deal was conducted by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but multiple consumer groups had asked for an independent review of the trade deal. According to Morrison, “The work has been done … in securing these agreements and the sceptics will always doubt the trade benefits of these sorts of deals,” and “They’re welcome to their skepticism. The government is convinced of it.” Earlier this month trade minister Andrew Robb rejected calls for a cost-benefit analysis of the trade deal after it emerged that Australia’s economy would only grow by 0.7% as a result of the agreement. An analysis done by the World Bank showed that Australia fared worse than all other countries besides the US in the trade deal. Even with this analysis, it appears that the Australian government is still very confident that the TPP will have a positive economic impact for Australia and they continue to back it.

Should Australia make a “rear view” analysis of the TPP? Do you think the TPP will benefit Australia more than projected?

Mexico Reaping Rewards from the TPP

 

In the article “American Jobs Leaving for Mexico – Ford Motors Just Showed Us What the TPP Will Do to the US Economy” (http://www.dcclothesline.com/2016/02/11/american-jobs-leaving-for-mexico-ford-motors-just-showed-us-what-the-tpp-will-do-to-the-us-economy/), a recent announcement from Ford Motors is discussed due to the TPP, as well as other future actions that TPP may cause. Per the article Ford Motor Company recently announced plans to manufacture 500,000 vehicles at a new facility in Mexico. This announcement comes at the heels of a similar announcement by General Motors, who announced a $5 billion investment to double its productions capacity in Mexico by the year 2018. Is this caused directly by the TPP? “While the TPP has been touted by politicians as an extraordinary benefit to the US, Mexico’s labor costs will instead help that country’s economy reap the rewards, already evidencing the enormous trade deal’s similarities to NAFTA(the North American Free Trade Agreement), which many have come to view as a disaster for the US”. According to the article, Ford’s announcement comes after negotiations by the United Auto Workers union for more expensive labor contracts. Incidentally, hourly rates in the US are already around five times greater than those in Mexico, and are expected to expand further in the future. Will this trend continue with other auto manufacturing companies? Will it extend to other manufacturing industries as well?

Malaysia to promote halal products to TPP countries

According to a recent article posted in Astro AWANI, http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/malaysia-promote-halal-products-tpp-countries-92542, Malaysia is looking to expand their halal market to the countries involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership, including Australia and New Zealand. Halal is defined as relating to or denoting food, specifically meat, that is prepared as prescribed by Muslim Law. Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that Malaysia has been working with the two countries as they are familiar with Malaysia’s halal agenda. According to Mustapa, “We are looking for markets in some of these (TPP) countries. For example, in the United States and Canada, where the Muslim population is growing,” and “By promoting halal products in those countries, we hope Malaysian exporters would get better market access in some of the TPP countries.” Mustapa also stated that the halal industry and their agenda was recognized as an important focal point to the government to help develop Malaysian halal business. Led by the International Trade and Industry Minister, the World Halal Week 2016 will take place from March 28th to April 2nd at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The event, which is themed “Beyond the Economy” marks Malaysia’s determination to identify the untapped potential of the halal industry beyond commercial and trade value.

Do you think countries like Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada will purchase more Halal products from Malaysia? How important do you think Halal products are to Malaysia’s success?

Push to stop Parliament ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership

A recent article published in The Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/push-to-stop-parliament-ratifying-the-transpacific-partnership-20160202-gmjiay.html, states that almost 60 community organizations have called for an independent assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership before the Australian Parliament votes to ratify the agreement. Multiple groups, from the Public Health Association, to Greenpeace, to Catholic Religious Australia, and to the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, have signed a letter warning that the trade deal poses “grave risks to the public interest” if it is not independently assessed. The alliance of groups want an organization like the Productivity Commission to evaluate the TPP’s economic costs and benefits before their Parliament agrees to ratify it. The letter states, “We the undersigned 59 community organizations representing millions of Australians are gravely concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership text agreed by the US, Australia and 10 other Pacific Rim countries,” and “In the absence of such independent assessments, we consider that the TPP poses grave risks to the public interest and ask you to oppose the implementing legislation.” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb believe that the TPP is “a gigantic foundation stone” for Australia and that the deal will deliver “substantial benefits for Australia,” respectively. The TPP should be formally signed by Australia’s neighbor New Zealand this Thursday, and it is likely to be tabled in Australia’s parliament later this month.

Will an independent assessment change the Australian Government’s view on the TPP? What do you think an independent assessment would reveal?

Thailand to Enter TPP?

A recent article in, The Bangkok Post, Discusses Japanese Businesses efforts to persuade the Thai government to join the Trans Pacific Partnership. Their goal is to boost trade between Japan and Thailand under the new deal. Meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the JCCI’s Akio Mimura and other top Japanese executives discussed the possibilities of Japan and Thailand cooperating in technology innovations and production. How may Japan benefit from Thailand’s inclusion in the TPP? How may Thailand benefit from the TPP? Will Thailand eventually become a member of the TPP?