What Will Trans-Pacific Partnership Withdrawal Mean For Michigan’s Economy?

MSU economist Charley Ballard explores the possible impact of Trump’s protectionist trade policies.

President Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promise to keep the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What could this move mean for Michigan’s economy?

Michigan State University economist Charley Ballard tells WDET’s Jake Neher that he doesn’t expect it to have much of a direct impact.

“We already have free trade” with most of the countries involved with the TPP, says Ballard.

“I don’t think it would have radically transformed anything. Thus, not doing it, I don’t think that radically transforms it either.”

But Ballard says participation in TPP could have eventually paved the way to more access to China’s auto market for American automotive companies. Overall, he says Trump’s protectionist trade policies could be detrimental.

“If you put up big tariff barriers, that would be very damaging to the auto industry,” he says. “I am very wary of going too far down this road.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


  • Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.