Is a trade agreement with China a good idea?

President Obama says China open to joining trade partnership, do you think it is a good idea?

“The truth is,” President Obama told Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal, “is that globalization, advances in technology, big cargo containers shipping goods in that are sold through the distribution and logistics networks in this country, over the last 20, 30 years, played a role in reducing the leverage that workers had, played a role in outsourcing, but the argument that I make to my friends, whose values I share, is that you can’t fight the last war. The truth is, today, if there is a company in the United States that wants to find low-wage labor – if that’s their business model, I think it’s a mistake, but if that’s their business model – they can do it now, under existing rules. NAFTA did not have labor protections or environmental protections that were enforceable; that was a side-letter.”

While negotiations continue with China, another major agreement the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being brokered between the U.S. and several eastern Asian countries that doesn’t include China.

“One of the most basic facts about the TPP is also the most important: It’s huge,” writes NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben. “Another way the TPP is gargantuan is tougher to quantify in a bar graph: its scope. It not only covers basic trade issues like tariffs, but also a variety of other areas like labor and environmental and intellectual property.”

How big of a deal is TPP?

One of the administration’s top arguments for the deal is that in negotiating TPP, it “writes the rules” for trade with a large swath of eastern Asian countries before China can with its own trade agreements.

Today’s Question: Is a trade agreement with China a good idea?