Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Unlikely Allies in Debate on Trans Pacific Partnership Approval

Obama has a new unlikely ally in Congressional Republicans. The president is looking for Congress to approve a fast-track approach for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement between twelve countries in the Pacific Rim, including Chile and Japan. This deal has been negotiated for several years in secret, and is the largest trade deal since NAFTA was signed in the 1990s. It is likely that a provision will be introduced into the Senate Finance committee that will have the Congress just vote up or down on the agreement, but only after a public review period. This is the result of an agreement between Obama and Congressional Republicans.

The president is at odds with many in his own party who are distrustful of trade deals. The more liberal wing of the party, as well as labor unions, do not like trade deals as that are often seen as threatening of domestic manufacturing jobs, or at least unions, by leading to more outsourcing, and a way for companies to get around environmental laws. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said "not only no but hell no" of the deal. Elizabeth Warren has also expressed disapproval, especially of the secrecy of the negotiations. Republicans are much more supportive of free-trade, as it can create more markets for American goods, revealing the unlikely partnership.

How do you think debate on this deal will affect the presidential elections, especially the Democratic primaries? Do you think the TPP is a good deal? Should it have the "fast-track" or should Senators be able to make amendments and filibuster?

Other Articles:
"Obama: Democrats have their facts wrong on Trans-Pacific Partnership deal"
"U.S. Chamber, AFL-CIO clash at Senate hearing over Obama’s free trade push"

1 comment:

Alex Medwid said...

Like most Democrats, I am against TPP due to the risk that it poses to both American and foreign workers.

Because a lot of Americans oppose TPP, I think Obama's alliance with the Republicans in support of TPP could make people realize that Obama really is more conservative than what they want in a president. This could hurt Hillary Clinton, who is even more conservative than Obama. It could benefit Bernie Sanders, who is an outspoken opponent of TPP.

I don't approve of fast-tracking anything that can have such a dramatic impact on so many different countries.