Extract from “TPP is about many things, but free trade? Not so much”

The big problem is that TPP-like agreements are no longer exclusively or even primarily about reducing traditional trade barriers. […] Tariffs have never been lower. Any gains from further reductions would be relatively modest.

Instead, agreements such as the TPP are about implementing policies that have nothing to do with comparative advantage, policies that are often designed to lead to higher consumer costs and concentrated corporate power. Treated as marginal issues, these policies are “free-trade free-riders,” coasting along on an unearned legitimacy.

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