From Grasping Reality:
It is foolish to debate whether a trade agreement that has not yet been negotiated is a good idea and should be ratified.
Such a debate should properly begin only once there is something to analyze.
But here we are, so...
Paul Krugman says that the potential net gains from freer trade in services and (secondarily) agriculture as estimated by Petri, Plummer and Zhai of 0.5% of GDP "seem high to him". Suppose that they are half that. In a Pacific region whose GDP is now approaching $30 trillion/year, that is $75 billion/year. Capitalize that at 4%/year and we get a net addition to world wealth of $3 trillion. That is indeed a very small number relative to the wealth of the world both now and discounted into the future. But that is a rather large number compared to other things the U.S. government might do this year. So why not grab for it?
Improvements in international monetary arrangements with respect to keeping exchange rates where they ought to be would also be valuable--if they could be successfully negotiated.
I do not think anybody is arguing quantitatively that TPP would put downward pressure on real wages in the United States of a large enough magnitude to offset the value of the $3 trillion wealth machine. If they are making such an argument, I would like to see it.
Paul Krugman claims that the other major effect--besides the $3 trillion wealth machine--is that the intellectual property protections make the world poorer and transfer a significant amount of wealth from the sick and the entertainment consumers of emerging markets to first-world plutocrats. But is this in fact true? And what are the numbers?