Obama’s Trade Deal Faces Bipartisan Peril in the House (LINK):
The T.P.P. is the largest trade deal in a generation, linking 12 nations — including Canada and Chile in the Americas, and Japan and Australia across the Pacific — in a pact that would not just further cut generally low tariffs on goods but also put in place investment rules for roughly 40 percent of the global economy. The White House says, moreover, that the deal is an essential element in America’s strategic posture in Asia vis-à-vis the rising power of China.
WASHINGTON — The battle over President Obama’s push for the two potentially far-reaching trade pacts will shift this week to the House. Advocates of the trade bill (from both parties) say they are gaining strength since it passed the Senate just before the Memorial Day break. But that 62-to-37 vote — while bipartisan — was not the overwhelming victory House supporters had hoped for.
“Only 17 Democrats out of 188 have come out in favor of so-called fast-track authority — and many of them are being hounded by labor and environmental groups to change their minds. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, who has yet to declare her position, has told House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio that he will have to produce 200 Republican votes to win the 217 he needs. In other words, she is not promising a single new convert.”
Most congressional Dems are skeptical of the T.P.P. “They argue that since the North American Free Trade Agreement was approved in 1993, such accords have only hastened the flow of manufacturing jobs overseas and pressured wages downward through international competition. Corporations, their executives and shareholders have prospered, but globalization has helped hollow out the middle class, many Democrats say.”
“By contrast, most Republicans conceptually side with President Obama, contending that the forces of globalization are inevitable and that trade deals like the T.P.P. will help open foreign markets to American goods and services. They support the White House’s effort to forge deals that protect intellectual property from theft and promote investor rights through strong international rules, which are seen as crucial to expanding opportunities for a wide range of American industries, including aircraft, entertainment, pharmaceuticals and insurance.”
To me, it seems very uncharacteristic like of President Obama to push so hard for a trade agreement that big corporations and republicans are lobbying for and very few democrats support. What do you think Obama finds alluring about this deal? Do you think this agreement would jumpstart our economy? Do you think the majority of Americans would be positively influenced by the partnership?