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Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes – both for better and for worse – occurred in the global economic system.In place of global trade talks, the U.S. and Europe have mounted a divide-and-conquer strategy, based on overlapping trade blocs and agreements.As a result, what was intended to be a global free-trade regime has given way to a discordant managed-trade regime. The problem is not so much with the agreement's trade provisions, but with the "investment" chapter, which severely constrains environmental, health, and safety regulation, and even financial regulations with significant macroeconomic impacts.Even the way Obama argued for the new trade agreement showed how out of touch with the emerging global economy his administration is. He repeatedly said that the TPP would determine who – America or China – would write 21st century's trade rules. Obama has sought to perpetuate business as usual, whereby the rules governing global trade and investment are written by U.S. corporations for U.S. corporations.Those seeking closer economic integration have a special responsibility to be strong advocates of global governance reforms: If authority over domestic policies is ceded to supranational bodies, then the drafting, implementation, and enforcement of the rules and regulations has to be particularly sensitive to democratic concerns.
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