Obama puts TPP trade deal at top of 2016 agenda


President Obama expressed optimism at a Friday press conference that Congress can approve a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal.

Obama called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "a big deal" and acknowledged that opponents in both parties make for “an interesting situation."

[ by Vicki Needham | December 18, 2015 | The Hill ]

He said the White House will need to "stitch together the same kind of bipartisan effort" that helped his administration win a fight over fast-track trade authority.

The president argued that the trade pact between the United States and 11 other nations meets the bar he set for the agreement and is consistent with what he promised — major commitments on labor and the environment along with the elimination of thousands of tariffs on U.S. exports. Obama repeated his call that the TPP is the "most progressive trade deal in history."

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said earlier this week that he wants to take a vote as soon as possible on the expansive Pacific Rim trade agreement if the pact lives up to the promises made by the White House.

He said he doesn't have a set date in mind but that the TPP is “very important” and "has a lot of promise” because it gives the United States the ability to write the rules of global trade in the fastest growing region in the world.

Ryan's comments struck a different tone than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said last week that Obama would be making a "big mistake" if he sought a vote on the TPP before the 2016 elections.

But Obama also said that a presidential election year can easily skew the best-laid legislative plans with lawmakers "looking over their shoulders" amid worries about the primaries.

"That makes it harder" to make strides on the agenda, he said.


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  • commented 2015-12-22 12:04:54 -0500
    I voted for President OBAMA both times, and it turns out that he is a ELEPHANT that likes to dress up like a DONKEY. I give President Obama’s administration credit for doing a number of good things for OUR NATION, HOWEVER those GOOD THINGS were nothing more than throwing food scraps off the table to watch the dogs fight over them for amusement. The good things that the Obama has been able to pull together will be well overlapped by TPP the moment it is made official. When that happens my RESPECT for PRESIDENT OBAMA ENDS!
    WE THE PEOPLE have been burned by the ending of the Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL LAW) which provided U.S. with information as to where packaged meat products came from, and was something that the MAJORITY of WE THE PEOPLE kind of LIKED. The COOL LAW was brought to an end as a result of both Canada and Mexico SUING AMERICA on the grounds that the COOL LAW was a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). When a young child gets a little burn from playing with FIRE the child QUICKLY learns that PLAYING WITH FIRE is a BAD THING TO DO, because fire CAN HURT YOU. WE THE PEOPLE have been finding out from security leaks that the TOP SECRET TPP was a very bad thing for OUR NATION. Yet a number of fools well paid for both ELEPHANTS and DONKEYS in OUR LEGISLATION are willing to allow this BLOODLESS COUP D’ETAT to pass. (Well I suppose that anyone that gets paid well will do just about anything for the person that is paying them) The burn that AMERICA took from NAFTA as a result of the COOL LAW would be insignificant in comparison to what awaits U.S. if the TPP is passed. NAFTA could be compared to a young child playing with a lit candle, while The TPP could be compared to the same child playing withe matches at an oil refinery.
    By MY judgment President Obama Having preformed very well academically at a number of America’s top educational institutions can’t be all that SMART if he isn’t able to learn from something as simple as getting BURNED.
  • commented 2015-12-22 10:19:28 -0500
    ""That makes it harder" to make strides on the agenda, he (Obama) said."
    Secret agendas thrive in the dark, not in the glare of election year politics.
  • commented 2015-12-22 09:49:54 -0500
    With no currency manipulation provision, no intellectual property provision, no sovereignty or balanced trade provision the TPP becomes the worse thing possible for the American people, economy and jobs. We will once again hear the loud sucking sound of jobs disappearing again like we did right after NAFTA was approved. There is no way that any one in Washington should vote for this TPP as written unless they are completely bought off which many are.
  • commented 2015-12-21 15:17:17 -0500
    “it gives the United States the ability to write the rules of global trade in the fastest growing region in the world.” No, it gives international tribunals the power to overturn OUR laws. Case in point, repeal of COOL (country of origin labeling for meat) is an example of the kind of thing that could be empowered by the TPP.