State Dept. Official: Geopolitics Will Persuade Lawmakers To Pass TPP In Lame-Duck

October 12, 2016


[ Daily News| October 11, 2016 |Inside US Trade]

Enough members of Congress will ultimately support the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a post-election lame-duck session largely due to the negative geopolitical implications of failing to ratify the deal, according to Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel.

“TPP is moving towards ratification in many countries and although it’s an uphill battle here, President Obama has fulfilled the requirements outlined in the Trade Promotion Authority Congress passed last year and he is determined to win ratification in the coming months,” Russel said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Asian Architecture Conference on Oct. 11.

Russel said he did not subscribe to the “beltway skepticism” around TPP’s prospects for congressional passage this year for four reasons: the deal’s importance to U.S. leadership in the Asia-Pacific, and its strong and enforceable labor, environment, and intellectual property standards.

That makes up a “very powerful set of arguments on multiple levels,” Russel said. “No single argument is going to carry the day with every member of Congress, but it is my hope and expectation that after the election every member of Congress will take a serious look at the agreement with an eye to America’s real national interests. And on that basis when we do the arithmetic it comes out decidedly, overwhelmingly in favor of ratification.”

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