Is the TPP really dead?

January 27, 2017

Q: I am sure you are aware President Trump has signed an executive order to effectively annul the TPP. Do you still maintain your original position the TPP will be revived despite such a clear and unambiguous intent to terminate the TPP?

A: I don’t see an inconsistency as to what I mentioned about the TPP in the past – contrary to how you have put it across inadvertently or by design – I never ever said Trump would sign off on the TPP. What I did say was the TPP will go thru minor alterations and will be repackaged as something other than the TPP, but what will eventually come to pass will essentially be the TPP.

I think it’s important to distinguish between showmanship and the realities of power and politics – the two don’t have much to do with each other, but at times there can be overlap – since so many people voted for Trump as he promised to put and end to the TPP. So I see this as just a fulfillment of what appears to be an election pledge to those who voted for him on the kill the TPP tag line. But try as hard as Trump may to run away from the power and politics of global trade and commerce – it’s in my opinion stupid for the US not to go ahead with the TPP.

Q: What makes you so surefire 100% the TPP isn’t RIP?

A: It is RIP! But that’s only because RIP to me reads rise if possible. Let’s talk sense. If Trump is really serious killing the TPP. he would have included appendixes like both – the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty. Neither did Trump put an end to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

So there is a wealth of information out there in the public domain to suggest Trump is not going to do away with the TPP. As both TISA and TTIP would be quite meaningless without the TPP. All three ‘trade’ agreements which actually have nothing whatsoever to do with trade and everything to do with economic warfare against China and Russia have to work in combination for the whole thing to fulfill it’s operational criteria.

Q: You still maintain the TPP has nothing to do with promoting free trade?

A: Yes there are elements of trade. That goes without saying. For example Canadian farmers will be able to break into the lucrative beef and pork market in Japan and Vietnam. Oil palm cooking oil will feature on racks in Wall-Mart for the first time along side peanut and soya bean oil. But strip the The Trans-Pacific Partnership of 12 nations that rim the South China Sea right down to it’s chassis – and you will discover the primary objective is a geo political strategy to blunt China’s sphere of influence thru the doctrine of economic containment.

People who talk about the TPP as a trade agreement are just a very disingeneous lot – what trade benefits are there? When 22% of the supposedly 40% of the trade is sucked up by the US. Besides most of these countries that make up the TPP already have close economic ties with each other and have very liberal trade relationships.

Please don’t get me wrong – I am not saying Singapore will not benefit economically. Neither am I am saying Singapore will not be able to secure it’s primacy as a trading hub regionally with the TPP. But you have to understand the main push for the TPP is not trade it is to reinstate US primacy in the Pacific theater and blunt China’s economic and military expansionism.

Q: Why do you oppose the TPP?

A: I have already explained my position time and again. I want to be explicitly clear here – if this interview is going to proceed as if we are going around in ever diminishing circles. Then I will stop it. Am I clear?

OK my reasons for opposing the TPP is because what we have essentially is the US ganging up with twelve other countries in Asia and presenting China with an ultimatum – you play by our rules or we are going to cut all your market access to these countries who have all agreed to sign up to play only by US rules. Come on. Use your mentality not even the Mafia or Yakuza or for that matter the millers that I sell my palm fruit to will ever have ever the temerity to do that just for the sake of protecting their hegemony.

Q: Is TTIP conceived with the same design as the TPP then? It seems you have quite a lot of sympathy and disappointment for China and what the US and their allies are doing to her. How true is that?

A: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Is exactly the same, the iron fist in the velvet glove of TTIP that again hides under the appellation of free trade is none other than NATO’s grand design to further it’s military and economic expansion into Eastern Europe and the Balkans – both TTIP, like the TPP, are not so different from the oil embargo that was once imposed on Japan in 1941 – it is a tacit form of economic warfare to ensure that the EU does not entangle it’s interest with Russia and their allies to such an extent where the balance of power tips in favor of the Russians.

I am sorry for not responding to your supplementary question – but I believe I have in the past informed you on numerous occasions to only structure one question and no more at any one time to facilitate our readership.

Q: You seem to be disappointed that the US and their allies are putting a gun to China’s head? Why?

A: You know disappointment is a lover’s word – I’ve got no love lost with the US or for that matter even China. If I oppose the spirit and intendment of the TPP it is simply because it is bellicose, unilateral and structured unlike a dicta which can only be interpreted by any nation in this day and age as provocative and confrontational.

I don’t think you understand how confrontational the TPP can only be interpreted by China – it’s like twelve oil millers around my plantation forming a cartel and one day they submit me a document with terms stating that I can only sell my fruit at X price. I cannot buy more land or for that matter trade under any other rules except those that they have seen fit to unilaterally impose on me.

By every known definition of the Clausewitzian doctrine war is a continuation of politics by other means – this is war!

So I don’t blame China for seizing the Terrex’s. I just can’t figure out why they didn’t melt it down and flog it off as key chains to tourist.

Q: Trump’s justification for the annulment of the TPP is that it steals US jobs. Do you agree with that?

A: Hey no one is stealing anyone’s job. Mexico is not stealing American jobs. Neither is China or the Vietnamese who make pretty great base ball hats printed with the words ‘make America great again!’ There is no SPECTRE. No bald guy stroking a cat with evil designs to subjugate humanity and reduce us all to automatons.

The reason why jobs are going abroad is driven primarily by technology – even in the US itself jobs that used to rely on humans have been automated or completely replaced by robots. You go to NTUC supermarket – you see two queues, one is manned by the friendly auntie who is a cashier and the other is scan yourself and go and in a few more years if we go by the reliability of Moore’s law – you can even go pick it up and walk right out and everything will be automatically credited along with debiting your supermarket stamps. That’s to say many traditional jobs that once required human division of labor are fast disappearing from the manufacturing landscape. The same applies to the corporate world as well accounts along with call centers are being outsourced wholesale – these days you call up a toll free hot line for a American or EU product and the chances are Joe is probably an Indian national on the red eye shift somewhere in Mumbai – so I don’t really see how jobs can possibly come back to the US ever again. I don’t deny some can. Some should even. Some should not have even be transplanted even. But to assume the bulk can return is simply not realistic, nor does it make manufacturing strategic sense either. Because US industries no longer possess the technological edge when it comes to mass production – they don’t have the capital goods in the form of machinery or for that matter raw materials or even the economies of scale to absorb everything they manufacture.

Do you realize the only country in this planet that still has the capacity to manufacture American jeans is Japan. Because they bought all those old machines when American firms outsourced abroad. Even then it’s done on a cottage industry scale, but the question is are you willing to fork out USD$2,000 for a pair of good olde Levi’s.

What I think Trump et al should really be talking about if he is really serious about making America great again is really basic life stuff – like ameliorating the corrosive conditions in the US that makes it so expensive to get a college education. Putting an end to this bullshit of contract workers just because it’s a convenient way for firms to manipulate their accounts so as to demonstrate to shareholders they’re in the pink when in fact all they’re doing is debasing the idea of dignity of labor. Getting firms like what BMW and Mercedes are doing by making the workplace more sympathetic to older workers so that they can remain productive and more importantly retain their wage earning capacities beyond their twilight years. Creating conditions where wealth really percolates down to the ordinary man in the street, nourishing the idea of the family man so that couples will can see a bright future to vote with genes to start families. Getting more people to read serious stuff that even requires them to bear out the beauty of words along the understanding the breadth of ideas that cannot possibly fit into one sentence twitter nano bites, so that they can make informed decisions.

To me these would be a rational response to the ongoing political, social and economic crisis that confronts the US and to some extent the UK.

As believe it or not – the real threat that America has to deal with is not Russia, China or even rouge states like North Korea or even radicals like Al Qaeda – America’s real enemy resides within the marrow of the bones of America itself in the form of the new marginalized underclass who no longer read or for that matter choose to work things out with the power of knowledge.

And mind you – when you couple the idea of democracy with terminal ignorance it’s can be a very dangerous thing – as freedom in that feral context of democracy can even mean that I have every right to fuck up my life and perhaps even yours as that’s my elemental right in a democracy. You see that is the paradox of democracy.

The world is certainly in a right bloody mess!

Q: Why is it about the TPP that Trump opposes to such a strong extent? Is it true that it will…I do beg your pardon. Why don’t you answer that question first.

A: If you ask me there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the TPP from a geo political standpoint – it makes sense to counterbalance the rise of China. It makes even more sense to entrench the primacy of the US without relying on their carrier doctrine alone because that is very expensive. But I think the way in which the proponents of the TPP went about crafting their designs was a public relations disaster that makes the Chernobyl fall out look like a oversize mosquito repellent going off accidentally. First it was conceived in absolute secrecy. Can you imagine in this day and age. I mean not even Magna Carta was conceived that way. Secondly they consulted none of the stakeholders – in fact the stakeholders were specifically excluded and instead those who stand the most to profit from the TPP, the corporate and multinational elite were the only ones who were privy to all the communications and rationale relating to the TPP.

Now bear in mind, while all this is happening US workers have suffered years of stagnating or falling wages, their industries are decimated, devastating the communities they sustained.

Both Republicans, Democrats and even the Singapore government are equally complicit for this unnecessary veil of secrecy concerning the TPP. They never ever once had the wisdom to consider the possibility all they were creating was for the perfect tsunami of anger and resentment which would one day be the raw material to put a show man into the worlds most powerful office.

So don’t blame Trump for this. Don’t blame the American people either. How could they know anything about the TPP it’s even more secretive than the brotherhood or 322. If you want to ascribe blame accurately – blame the political establishment and corporatist.

Q: What would your prescriptive cure be for the post truth generation and how could the world best reverse the Brexit and Trump harbingers?

A: That is a very good question. It’s preceptive. Because it hits the nail squarely on the head – I imagine the Guilds are also interested to know as well. Let me just share with you my daily reading material. Everyday at 1630 GMT I receive an electronic parcel of reading material – it’s ranges anywhere from the Diplomat, Jane’s Defense Monthly, The American Scholar to Proceedings to even Russian along with Chinese commentaries – they all been vetted by our scholars in the ASDF. This material cannot intercepted. Not even by Echelon or GCHQ. I read. Usually around five in the morning. That’s the time when I usually wake up.

But the question you have to ask yourself is why do I read diligently – let me put it in a nutshell – the future is opportunity to me. Some people make money by spinning the roulette wheel or taking their chances on Baccarat. If I can predict what can happen in six or a year down the road – that to me is gold!

As it can be leveraged on to good effect.

As for your usage of post truth generation – what the hell might you be talking about? You mean to say that rag called the strait times is the gold standard of reportage? Who the hell do you think you’re talking too a wide eyed JC kid?

The way I see it – there has only be lies, lies and more lies from officialdom – and that underscores the importance of being well read, educated and informed.

If you really want to know what will be the one indelible quality that will separate the enlightened from the ignorant proud and stupid in the 21st century it is simply this – the ability to winnow lies from truth.

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