Among the first actions President Donald Trump took was to officially kill U.S. participation in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.
No doubt free-trade advocates will condemn the new chief executive for that.
But all Trump did was to, in effect, sign the TPP's death certificate. It was already dead for all practical purposes.
The TPP was in the category of international agreements that must be approved by Congress. That was not going to happen.
You may remember the TPP was an issue during the presidential election last year. It was stalled in the Senate even then.
Both Trump and his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, said they opposed the plan. (Clinton, of course, had been a champion of the pact while secretary of state.)
Many economists remind us the U.S. cannot be prosperous without a substantial amount of international trade. They are right.
Provisions in the TPP were so onerous that it might have benefited the other 11 nations involved, but it would have been bad for Americans.
All trade agreements are not created equal.
Though Congress probably would have killed the TPP on its own, Trump was right to end the discussion.
Now, perhaps, U.S. officials can negotiate a better deal.