Short of renditioning Peter Navarro from his office, forcing him onto a cargo plane, force-feeding him handfuls of amphetamines, slapping him in the face a few times and then parachuting him into the center of Tokyo, there is not much that the Trump Administration can do to signal that it has no interest in re-entering the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.
The president has made it abundantly clear that he believes TPP to be yet another bad deal negotiated by a predecessor sadly lacking The Donald's wondrous array of negotiating skills honed through years of losing billions in the hurly-burly world of real estate development. Sure, Trump has has pushed the US to just beyond the brink of a bona fide trade war with China. And, yeah, he could gain a substantial position of leverage in those tense talks by re-entering a trade partnership with China's neighbors designed for the sole purpose of countering Beijing's overwhelming economic power in the region. And, sure, a new TPP might allow the president and his team to find a framework for how they might a approach new NAFTA. But this is the Trump administration, so expecting a logical response to a self-created problem is not too smart...
President Donald Trump has deputized two top economic advisers to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord he withdrew from after taking office, Senator Ben Sasse told reporters.
“He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now,” Sasse said Thursday.
Oh, wow, Trump is really looking to re-enter TPP? This is the kind of move that could really quell market fears over China and give this administration new standing in the global community. A new Secretary of State could even build on this momentum. All the president needs to do is send someone to wake up Wilbur Ross, tell Mnuchin to pick someone at Treasury who actually knows what they're doing ("No, not you, weirdo") and get this show on the road...
Two White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the president directed economic adviser Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to explore the feasibility of re-entering the TPP. White House spokesmen didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Wait...what? Kudlow? Maybe everyone misunderstood?
Well, that dream was sweet while it lasted. TPP is really dead.
Larry Kudlow obviously wants us back in TPP, but he's not a renowned diplomat and pairing him with Lighthizer on a free trade deal is like covering his Bruno Maglis in cement and asking him to run a marathon. Plus, the worst case scenario for Kuddles is that he gets a solid deal on TPP, crows about it to Carl Quintanilla live on CNBC only to find his shit in boxes on the White House lawn for upstaging the Ego-in-Chief.
Picking Larry Kudlow to get us back into TPP is like sending Charlie Rose to interview the women behind the #MeToo movement; Yeah, he's qualified, but alsoooo...
This whole thing also helps to convey just how confused and cornered Trump is these days. Personal problems are muting his ability to focus in international fires and he is looking to mollify his notional GOP allies by sending slick-ass Kuddles to salvage a trade pact that he doesn't care for. It's policy by color and the colors are emotions...Holy shit, he's totally gonna fire Mueller, isn't he?