Free trade agreements (FTAs) are about far more than free trade. They are about national security. A trade deal may be ambitious in liberalizing or managing cross-border flows in goods, services, intellectual property (IP), and people, but to argue for or against an FTA solely along the axis of free versus managed trade is to miss another vital purpose – the deal can, and indeed should, advance national security. This article makes two points. First, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) exemplifies the possibility of enhancing the national security the United States, through containment of China and its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Second, the debate over the definition of state owned enterprise (SOE) is one among many illustrations in the TPP of the link between national security, trade, and containment. The 12 nations negotiating the TPP were aware of this link, and deliberated the definition of ‘SOE’. The TPP excluded the Middle Kingdom from the founding members, while the founders wrote the TPP rules to bind China if it subsequently joined the deal. Chinese SOEs were of concern to them, for bona fide national security reasons, and so also were legitimate sovereign interests in providing goods and services through their own SOEs. The evaluation by America and its 11 TPP partners, as to which entities should be included in the scope of SOE disciplines led to a set of clear rules.