New trade deals test US internationalism
Many observers explain America's victory in the Cold War and subsequent international primacy as functions of its unrivalled military power. In fact, the global preeminence of the U. S. is better explained by its construction of a liberal international economic order in which it and its allies have thrived.
Today, passage by the U.S. Congress of so-called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the president and completion of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are the building blocks of a 21st century economic order that sustains American leadership. Yet in recent weeks, a minority in the U.S. Congress has tied that institution in knots to block TPA, setting President Barack Obama up for failure in his desperate effort to conclude the TPP negotiations.