Magazine article The Futurist

Two Possible Paths Forward

Magazine article The Futurist

Two Possible Paths Forward

Article excerpt

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could provide a model for how to organize a new trade zone such as that described in this article. The TPP represents a vehicle for economic integration and collaboration across like-minded Asia-Pacific region countries--including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States--that have come together voluntarily to craft a platform for a comprehensive, high-standard trade agreement.

It's unlikely that the TPP will work out this way, however, since a number of the nations involved have extensive mercantilist policies. Countries that would like to participate in such expanded trade partnerships, whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership or a potential Trans-Atlantic Partnership, must abandon wholesale their mercantilist practices.

This proposal is not meant to be Pollyannaish; to be sure, every country, including the United States, has at least some mercantilist policies, often as a result of internal political forces. It's not to say that only perfect countries with unblemished trade records can participate. The point is that countries whose dominant logic toward trade is predicated on export-led growth and the use of beggar-thy-neighbor mercantilist practices would simply not be invited to participate. If countries want the benefits of participating in a global trade system, then they must play by the rules of that system.

Another way forward is through more capable international institutions to support global science and innovation. …

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