With TPP Vote, Will the United States Abandon the Liberal World Order It Created?
Many observers explain America’s victory in the Cold War and subsequent international primacy as functions of its unrivalled military power. In fact, U.S. global preeminence is better explained by its construction of a liberal international economic order in which it and its allies have thrived.
A key test for the future of that order comes this week. Passage by the U.S. Congress of 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 to conclude the TPP negotiations. A pivotal vote in the Senate occurs on Tuesday.