It wasn’t a surprise that President Donald Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Monday. He said during the campaign that he didn’t like the plan, and neither did his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
But companies in Washington say the deal could've created billions of dollars of new business, and now they're left wondering what will happen next.
“I’m sure that many business owners, certainly those deeply involved in international trade in the Pacific, see this as something that hurts them or that certainly doesn’t give them the kinds of opportunities that they were expecting,” said David Bachman, Henry M. Jackson professor of international studies at UW.
Companies like Boeing and Amazon supported the TPP. So did many dairy farmers, fruit growers, and winery owners, who hoped to ship their products to emerging Asian markets.
“In walking away from the TPP, the (Trump) administration should move quickly forward with bilateral trade agreements with individual Asian countries. This should be a priority for the administration because other countries, particularly China, will be looking to fill the void if we turn away from trade entirely,” John Creighton, Port of Seattle Commission president wrote in a statement, Monday.
The Washington Council on International Trade estimated in 2015 that the TPP would've increased Washington's exports by close to $9 billion.
“The TPP moved us forward in so many positive ways, and it is a shame to let go of all those benefits,” Lori Otto Punke, WCIT president wrote in a statement.
The TPP issue brought together some unlikely groups. Liberals sometimes aligned with conservatives who opposed the trade plan for a variety of reasons, from cyber security to protecting American jobs.
A “Rock Against the TPP” concert attracted a large crowd last year in Seattle. The group that organized the concert said the deal would’ve promoted internet censorship and undermined human rights. They also had environmental concerns and worried about negative impacts on small businesses.
“As we enter a new stage in history, let the movement that stopped the TPP serve as a reminder to the incoming administration: we the people are organized and powerful. We will not tolerate attacks on our basic rights, whether they come from corporations or the government. If you come for our freedom, we will fight you and we will win,” the group said in a statement.