Mr. McCarthy is right: Trade deals should simplify
Trade deals are about clearing away what can be decades of old rules and ad hoc agreements between a multitude of different countries in order to arrive at a much cleaner slate of rules, vastly simplifying commerce for all involved.
Too bad the rest of the article flies in the face of that assertion.
The trouble is that the TPP brings in new rules and ad-hoc agreements between a multitude of different countries.
There's no justification for a trade deal consisting of an enormous dung ball of intricate mechanisms. If you want to make Imaginary Property rules neater and more uniform, then negotiate the Trans-Pacific IP Agreement---nothing else in it. That would allow normal people (the horror!) to judge whether it's an improvement for their country, or not. Ditto the TPEPA (environmental protection), the TPTA (tariffs), and so forth.
Unfortunately(?), this approach leaves no scope for raw horse-trading (I'll take a hit on pharma, if you'll take a hit on lumber, and we'll call it a deal). Gee, I guess we'd just have to make that one agreement balance out between parties; but it's how things used to be handled (e.g.: the Berne Convention on copyright), and could be again.
Suppose we break up the TPP into its component parts, and vote on each. If no go, renegotiate only that part, in secrecy if need be, and present it again, with enough time for interested parties to understand it before making a decision. Maybe we could even predict what the results would be. It would be fascinating to see how much made it through such a process, and in what form.
Can I haz my Nobel Prize in economics now?