In rare agreement on the campaign trail, Democrats and Republicans have been critical of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and other global trade deals. In spite of criticisms, President Obama hopes that the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress will consider the pact. And both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have promised a new approach to trade negotiations if elected. Why have trade agreements become a major issue in this election season? What portion of lost jobs and income inequality are directly linked to “free” trade deals? And what will be the implications of passage or rejection of TPP? We asked trade expert Bill Krist to address these questions and more in the latest edition of  Wilson Center NOW.


William Krist is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. For the past three years, he has been working on a book on U.S. trade policy including its impact on economic development, the environment, U.S. foreign policy, and employment here in the United States. His book, “Globalization and America’s Trade Agreements,” was published in 2013 by Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press. In addition to his work at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Krist undertakes consulting projects on issues related to economic development. Examples of his projects include extensive analyses of the implications for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda of joining the Information Technology Agreement, a project to assist Sierra Leone in adopting the ECOWAS common tariff, training programs in Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, and Ghana on negotiating in the World Trade Organization, and a project for ECOWAS on the implications of notifying their agreement to the WTO. His previous experience includes 15 years at America’s leading high technology industry association, where he was one of the original advocates for the Information Technology Agreement. He also served five 5 years as a senior official in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the White House Office responsible for formulating and coordinating U.S. trade policy, where he worked on trade issues in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.