David R. Henderson  

The Pros and Cons of the TPP

The Chamber of No... Speaking at Osher Lifelong Lea...


As a two-armed economist, I'll say that the benefits of the TPP are uncertain. Chop off one of my arms and I'll say that the net benefits are positive.
This is from my article "All things considered, TPP would've been a plus for US economy," The Hill, January 30, 2017.

In writing this, I was helped by the clear reasoning of one of our Econlib Feature Article writers, Pierre Lemieux. He wrote this piece on the TPP last year.

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Harry writes:

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EB writes:

It seems that you have chopped off the wrong arm, that is, the one that argues about the uncertainty of benefits and costs. Although


is a good summary of what we teach in Advanced Econ 101, it assumes too much trust on national governments to comply with laws and treaties --even with laws and treaties that are far from "the perfect institutions" assumed in Elementary and Advanced Econ 101.

Indeed, U.S. labor unions prefer not to have treaties because then it's much easier for them to get from politicians what they want. Why do you think unions don't care about the H-1B visa program but care so much about the potential competition of extending that program to all sorts of labor? Their "first-best" is to condition entry of foreign labor to special authorization rather than to allow free entry except under special conditions. These are the same unions that push for high minimum wages and other restrictions to control competition from new domestic suppliers of labor.

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