Obama’s Trade Policy is Dead
US President Barack Hussein Obama’s administration suspended its efforts to win congressional approval for his Asian free-trade deal before President Elect Donald Trump takes office saying that TPP’s fate was now up to Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.
Administration officials also said Mr. Obama will try to explain the situation to leaders of the 11 other countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact next week when he attends a regional summit in Peru.
Mr. Obama’s cabinet secretaries and the US Trade Representative’s office lobbied lawmakers for months to pass the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership deal in the post-election, lame-duck session of Congress.
However, Donald Trump’s election victory that sends him to the White House in January and retains Republican majorities in Congress has halted Mr.Obama’s plans.
Last Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said he would not take up TPP in the weeks before Donald Trump’s Inauguration and said its fate was now up to him. House Speaker Paul Ryan (MI) said he would not proceed with a lame-duck vote.
Donald Trump made his opposition to the TPP a centerpiece of his campaign, calling it a “disaster” and “a rape of our country” that would send more jobs overseas.
His anti-free-trade message and pledges to stem the tide of imported goods from China and Mexico won him massive support among blue-collar workers in the industrial heartland states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, helping to swing the election his way.
Donald Trump has said he will scrap TPP, renegotiate the 22-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and adopt a much tougher trade stance with China.
The TPP agreement, negotiated for more than 5 years and signed in October 2015, was aimed at reducing trade barriers erected by some of the fastest growing economies in Asia and boosting ties with US allies in the region in the face of China’s rising influence.
That policy pivot is dead.
Have a terrific weekend.