In its original incarnation as the TPP, the pact was conceived as a counterweight to China, whose vast economy was drawing other Asian countries closer despite its state-driven model and steep trade barriers. Not only would the TPP lower trade barriers, it could also prod Beijing to make changes to enjoy the same benefits.
When President Obama was advocating the deal, he said “America should call the shots” instead of China.
Now, the agreement could in some respects act as a defense against the shots America is calling.
The United States has “gone from being