Ryan offers different tone from McConnell on Obama trade pact


Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said that he wants to take a vote as soon as possible on an expansive Pacific Rim trade agreement if the pact proves beneficial for the United States.

[ by Vicki Needham | December 15, 2015 | The Hill ]

The Wisconsin Republican said during a Politico Playbook event that a vote is possible next year on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, although he doesn’t have a set date in mind. He said he and the House Ways and Means Committee are still scrutinizing the massive agreement.

Ryan said 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.

But he acknowledged that members of both parties have complaints about the agreement and those issues will have to be addressed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week said Obama would be making a "big mistake" if he sought a vote on the 12-nation TPP before the 2016 elections.

"It certainly shouldn’t come before the election," McConnell said. "I think the president would be making a big mistake to try to have that voted on during the election. There’s significant pushback all over the place."

The comments drew attention to the disappointment with the deal from top Republicans and mixed views in the business community.

Ryan, however, argued that if the deal is as ambitious as hoped that the House will “move as soon as we can.”

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