Indeed it is.
Jeff Faux writes in Where's the Change? American Prospect Online 04/09/2013:
The president has no intention of changing the trade policies that have been undercutting U.S. jobs and wages for more than 30 years. In fact, with the support of congressional Republicans, he wants yet another trade deal—this one with 11 Pacific Rim countries—that will once again bargain away the interests of American workers in favor of the interests of American corporate investors.Lill uses China as a foil, an enemy against which the EU, the US and Japan need to unite by establishing these two trade treaties to further enforce the anti-labor neoliberal order of financial buccaneering, casino capitalism and low wages.
That same unite-against-China theme appears in Anthony Fensom's article, EU-US Free Trade Agreement: End of the Asian Century? The Diplomat 02/20/2013:
"I'm not very optimistic about the prospects of a Japan-China-Korea FTA given the chilly political relations of those countries lately. FTAs are political and those countries need to listen to domestic public opinion," Devin Stewart, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council, told The Diplomat.Tags: neoliberalism, tpp, trans-pacific partnership
Stewart was more optimistic on agreements being reached between the traditional Northern Hemisphere allies from both the transatlantic and Asia-Pacific regions.
"Both the EU transatlantic agreement and the TPP come from thinking about how to set and promote liberal values through economic activity. Both would serve to set high standards for economic integration as well as encourage non-entrants to adopt higher standards," he said.
He continued, "In that sense, they are aimed in part to balance against China's influence and its state capitalism. These initiatives may serve as a peaceful strategy to promote liberal values ... as long as they do not spark something like another Cold War." [my emphasis]