http://www.app.com/story/opinion/re...s-pacific-deal-anti-china-pro-trade/73195500/ The United States already has 14 free trade agreements with 20 countries, according to the International Trade Administration. Six of the 11 nations in the prospective Transpacific Partnership agreement discussed by Congress and labor and business groups are in one or another of these free trade agreements. The five not covered are Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam. Japan represents 95 percent of their collective volume of trade with the U.S. So one would think that Japan is the prime target of the Transpacific Partnership. The principal areas of contention are Japan’s tariffs on U.S.-made autos and U.S.-grown rice. But Japan already shows good faith by building its quality cars using American labor in their U.S. factories at prices cheaper than imports from Japan plants. Also, Japan shows good sense by obtaining essential imports of their staple rice more easily and cheaply accessible from closer Asian nations. To reinforce this “good sense” aspect, would the U.S. buy New Zealand wheat when wheat from Canada (a NAFTA partner) is so accessible and cost effective for domestic U.S. consumers? The Transpacific Partnership is a politically motivated agreement, not an economic agreement, that is meant to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific Rim, its home region. Keeping U.S. economic skin in the game is a ruse to maintain U.S. political and diplomatic influence in the Transpacific countries, a region increasingly impacted by the Chinese economic powerhouse and its concomitant buildup of political and military influence.