In an attempt to attack Senator Rob Portman, Ted Strickland pulled a trick out of an unlikely playbook today. Donald Trump’s. Check out this tweet about the Trans Pacific Partnership that even Strickland’s buddy Barack Obama supports.
Senator Portman voted to fast-track the TPP without reading the bill. He has been the best Senator China's ever had. #OHSEN
— Ted Strickland (@Ted_Strickland) February 19, 2016
Donald Trump tried to make a similar argument in the Milwaukee debate in November.
“The TPP is horrible deal,” Trump said. “It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.”
“If you look at the way China and India and almost everybody takes advantage of the United States — China in particular, because they’re so good. It’s the No. 1 abuser of this country,” Trump said. “And if you look at the way they take advantage, it’s through currency manipulation. It’s not even discussed in the almost 6,000-page agreement.”
Rand Paul then delivered one of that debate’s most memorable moments by correctly interjecting that China is not part of the TPP.
Politifact even gave Trump a “Pants on fire” rating for the statement that China would benefit from the TPP.
We asked experts if there was any way China could possibly take advantage of the TPP. The experts all agreed: The trade deal will most likely negatively impact China.
Joel P. Trachtman, an international law professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, said the deal “would mean there would be zero tariffs on goods coming to the United States from places that compete with China.”
“It certainly wouldn’t be expected to help China,” he said.
To Trump’s assertion that the trade deal was designed for China’s benefit, experts say it’s actually the opposite. While Blanchard said experts are reluctant to suggest the agreement is a way of taking a shot at China, the TPP does allow the United States to shape trade practices in the Pacific before China can.
Not only is China not a part of the TPP, but the experts we talked to all agreed: The TPP isn’t exciting news for China. There’s a chance that China could join the TPP down the line, but not without robust changes to its economy. Until then, China doesn’t stand to gain much from having trade diverted to other countries.
Ted Strickland may want to get his facts straight before he goes off spouting the same nonsense that Donald Trump does.