An excellent article from AEI. Unfortunately we'll probably have to wait for Bo to be gone for this to become reality.
It is time for the United States to stop dragging its heels and allow Canada and Mexico to enter the negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP). Both nations have now signaled that they want to join before the end of 2012 and are actively lobbying TPP national capitals. While it is true that decisions to bring in new partners to the negotiations require a consensus among all of the nine current members - and that New Zealand and Australia have important parochial reservations about Canadian participation - a positive signal by the Obama administration would certainly seal the deal.
The TPP, if the negotiations are successful, will become the single most important regional trade agreement in the world trading system. Though it consists of only nine nations at this point, the goal is to provide stepping stones to the conclusion of a regionwide Free Trade of the Asia-Pacific Agreement (FTAAP) over the next decade. For the United States, there are strong economic, political and strategic reasons to support both Canada and Mexico.
On the economic front, Canada and Mexico are already the first and third most important U.S. trade partners (China is number two), and the top two export markets for American goods. Individually, U.S. exports to these two markets are almost three times greater than all of the current TPP members combined. As another comparison, both Canada and Mexico also consume more U.S. goods than China and Japan combined. Similarly, the two nations rank as the second and third largest sources of U.S. imports (China, number one).