At a press conference held last week at the end of the most recent round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), trade reps from the 12 member countries report that despite their best efforts to rush to reach an agreement, “significant gaps” in the details remain.
Not only are the negotiators finding it hard to mesh the trade standards of 12 disparate economies and cultures, but the impasse is so significant that no schedule was set for future meetings.
While this is good news for those of us committed to keeping the United States free from these sovereignty transfers posing as trade pacts, we’re not out of the woods yet.
At the press conference, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman (shown in photo) said, “Our focus is on achieving an agreement among all 12 of us and that agreement needs to be that ambitious, comprehensive, high-standard agreement.”
A significant part of Froman’s (and President Obama’s) plan to foist this latest scheme on the American people is the obtaining of “fast track trade authority” from Congress. Happily, the globalists seem to be stymied here, as well.
The Washington Post reported February 19 on the pressure the president is feeling from his own party to pump the brakes on the TPP and fast track authority:
Already, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are opposed to moving forward with granting Obama fast-track authority.
"Everyone would be well-advised just to not push this right now," Reid said late last month. He's generally opposed to large global trade agreements.
Pelosi doesn't oppose the concept of fast-track, but said last week that she is against a bipartisan measure introduced by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) that would give Obama the authority.
Resistance from Reid and Pelosi usually would be enough to at least ease the White House push. But Obama and Vice President Biden have also been directly confronted on the issue in recent weeks by rank-and-file members. But 151 House Democrats co-signed a letter late last year written by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to voice opposition to fast track authority and the TPP — more than half of the caucus. And during a recent closed-door meeting at the White House, Obama took two questions on the subject, while Biden faced a grilling on the subject at the House Democratic policy retreat last week.
What’s the point, then? Why is the president and his trade reps so insistent on getting the TPP passed by hook or by crook, particularly in light of the political poison pill it seems to be?
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Photo of U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman: AP Images