Crane at Shipyard

Obama Pushes TPP Again

Aug 5, 2016  | Ep4150

The search for solutions to bolster the economy also can be found in the political arena. One case of Capitol Hill gridlock involving 12 nations and 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product shows no sign of breaking. And, as Peter Tubbs found out, this is one vehicle in the political traffic jam the Administration hopes to trade-in for a win. 

President Obama this week reiterated his support for the landmark global trade deals that has attracted political fire during the Presidential campaign.

Obama discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a visit to the White House.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore: “America's endurance, policies and actions have contributed greatly to this current peace and prosperity. Not only will the TPP benefit American workers and businesses, it will send a clear signal and a vital signal that America will continue to lead in the Asia- Pacific and enhance the partnerships that link our destinies together.”

Those destinies are currently running an uphill path. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both gone on record against the TPP on the Presidential campaign trail. This week, six Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House discouraging a vote on the trade pact during the lame duck period between the November election and the January inauguration. The letter signals widespread opposition in Congress to the TPP specifically, and to trade deals generally. Along with the potential for the migration of U.S. jobs overseas, opponents of the pact are concerned about currency manipulation controls between member nations.

While the political class of each TPP country is in favor of the pact, the working class in each country has been opposed. Concerns about low-cost imported goods overwhelming local producers and a loss of national sovereignty have driven massive protests.

President Obama believes he has the better argument.

President Barak Obama, United States: “It's not possible to cut ourselves off given how integrated our economies are and trying to pull up a drawbridge on trade would only hurt us and only hurt our workers. So the answer is to make sure that globalization and trade is working for us, not against us and that's why today we are reaffirming our commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).”

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