President Obama signed into law the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill this week. TPA means that Congress will only get to vote up or down on the treaties in question once they are finalized by the White House, without the ability to offer amendments.
Obama has faced strong opposition from his own Democratic Party, with prominent lawmakers such as Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the House breaking ranks to speak and vote against the measure.
The TPA law is critical for the current negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact between the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries including Vietnam – See earlier blog post for detail on TPP. With the law signed, it is possible to conclude the TPP negotiation in 2015.
The passing of TPP trade package will increase the trade between the member countries, better working conditions for workers, more even and competitive playing field for companies. Vietnam is expecting a big GDP boost with the trade package.