Me in Teen Vogue, on TPP

Here is the link, a very nice spread, here is an excerpt:

Cowen’s concerns about withdrawing from the TPP are far graver than that. “I think it’s saying [to the other countries], ‘We won’t be there for you,’” he says. “It’s signaling there is no pivot to Asia, America will go back into its shell. And I think 50 years from now, through largely intangible factors, that will mean a much worse world…. It’s [about] the whole vision of America engaging with the world.”

For example, Cowen points to both Japan and South Korea and the domino effect this could have on them. “If you’re South Korea and your best and biggest ally just told you, ‘We’re not even going to run this trade agreement,’ [but] they’re still telling you, ‘We’re gonna defend you against North Korea,’ I think at some point you start doubting that,” he says. “And [with] Japan, [if] the U.S. says, ‘No, you don’t need to build nuclear weapons — we’ve got your back,’ I think, as Japan, you need to start doubting that. I’m not sure either of those are things that will change overnight, but if we don’t reverse the unraveling perceptions, you’ll find those countries looking for their own solutions. South Korea would probably cut a deal with China. Japan might rearm more.”

…Cowen, for his part, hopes that Trump and his advisors come to their senses and figure out a way to continue some sort of free trade. “The best-case scenario is that Trump’s advisors go to him and say, ‘Look, you promised to renegotiate NAFTA. TPP does that. You’re very willing to tell people lies. Why not just tell people this is a new and better TPP? If need be, change some cosmetic things in it so it’s not a strict lie and then call it your own, rename it, and pass it,’” Cowen says. Though he doesn’t expect that to actually happen, he believes it would be a big win not only for America but also for Trump, the Republicans in Congress, and the businesses that would benefit from it. “I think it’s a pure political win.”



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