Good News for the Alliance System: TPP Completed; on to TTIP?
The new TPP and TTIP agreements are the greatest deepening OECD has ever seen. True, they deepen it in two halves, one Atlantic, one Pacific; this is because some of the socio-cultural issues are different, and it enables the inclusion of several non-OECD allies from the diverse Pacific region, laying grounds for a further OECD widening when some of these countries become socioeconomically ripe. The two agreements could nevertheless be fruitfully linked later on.
The Alliance System is being supplemented by major new trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation has been completed. The ratification battle begins now, and will soon end -- hopefully in success, since the public strongly supports trade, but there are no guarantees since powerful special interest groups oppose it.
Western negotiators want the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to be completed next, and ratified by the end of 2016.
If the two agreements both come into force, the Western Alliance will have grown into a more comprehensive economic and security community than in the past. It will have risen to a level in-between the Unity level it had hitherto achieved by the combination of NATO plus OECD, and the Union level achieved inside its European subspace by the combination of the EU plus NATO.
These deals go far toward creating a sense of a common economic space -- a space that is somehow ours jointly, a common turf for mutual interaction, where the terms of interaction are pretty much the same throughout the space. This is of great importance for business planning and expansion. It is also of great importance to the maintenance and upgrading of the "we-feeling" that is essential for the alliance system.
Ratification of TPP, followed by completion and ratification of TTIP, are the most important and hopeful tasks facing the alliance system today.
Ira Straus is U.S. Coordinator of the international Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO (CEERN), an independent public organization. CEERN was formed at the beginning of 1992 by long-standing Western Atlanticists and new Eastern European and Russian Atlanticists; it was the first organization to provide analysis of how NATO expansion could proceed, at a time when the issue was not yet being seriously considered on either the official or the public level; it did so with a view to avoiding the problems that have subsequently arisen. Opinions expressed here are solely the responsibility of the author.
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