From Bloomberg Businessweek:
The TPP may be the most important deal since 1994’s North American Free Trade Agreement, but the rest of the world continues to battle over tariffs, duties, and incipient protectionism. Big free-trade agreements are rare. A pact between the U.S. and the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, has yet to be concluded, though the TPP may provide an impetus. Although the WTO has pulled off such coups as negotiating China’s entry into the organization, for the last few years it hasn’t been able to expand global free trade further.
If trade growth fails to pick up, says Adam Slater, a senior economist at Oxford Economics, countries may try to devalue their way to prosperity—a form of trade cheating. Says Slater: “The temptation to try to grab a bigger slice of a given trade pie is likely to increase.”