From previous post: “…The Transpacific Partnership (TPP) is a regional trade agreement between the countries of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam. Together, these countries account for $28 trillion of GDP, nearly 40% of the world’s GDP and 40% of the US’s total trade each year. While the US has several bilateral trade agreements in the region, this is the first multilateral trade agreement between the US and Asia…
The expressed intent of the TPP is to “enhance trade and investment among the partner countries, to promote innovation, economic growth and development, and to support the creation and retention of jobs.” The TPP has been the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s economic “pivot” to the Asia Pacific region. The US is driving the drafting of the agreement, and is able to bring the others up to US or global standards. While much of the negotiations have proceeded in secret (typical in trade negotiation), it is expected that the agreement will eliminate tariffs on goods and services, remove barriers and harmonize a host of regulations, including those regarding governmental procurement and the right of companies to sue governments. Global standards in labor rights, intellectual property, environmental practices, as well as financial regulation and government procurement are also included…”
Recently President Obama’s Fast Track bill was defeated by the Senate with the majority of the Democrats turned against Obama. Within a short time, an updated bill was moving through the Senate, passed a procedure on Friday in a 65-33 vote, it also cleared a second procedure hurdle with 62:38 vote. The Senate final vote is expected in June. This advance allowing Obama to expedite approval of trade agreements, a bill with bipartisan support in that chamber which however according to Bloomberg may run into strong opposition from House Democrats.
With strong support for the trade bill from Republican, the battle over the bill in the House will be fierce between Democrats and House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican.
The fast-track bill would allow Obama to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments. With the Fast Track authority President Obama will be able to finalize the TPP negotiation and complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and send it for fast-track approval.