Another poll shows the American Public generally favors trade and globalization, despite congressional resistance to taking up a huge Pacific trade deal right after the election. 65 percent of Americans, including 74 percent of Democrats, say globalization is mostly good for the U.S., while just under 60 percent of Republicans say the same. The numbers are very similar for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal.
So why is there resistance from congressional leaders to take up TPP in a lame duck session? American Farm Bureau Executive Director Dale Moore says lawmakers might be saying to themselves, “I know what the polls are saying, or I know what the surveys are saying, but I’m still hearing a lot from those folks who are really upset about this agreement, or from a political standpoint I’ve got to play my cards just right because I may be fully supportive on one hand of the policy, but on the other hand with the politics I’m working to protect myself back home.”
Where some industries may support TPP, others may have some concerns. And Moore says leadership is also looking at the schedule.
“The leadership is also looking at the fact that I’ve got a very long list to fit in a very short bucket of time to deal with,” he said. “Part of that too is the outcomes of the election.”
With that as the political backdrop, Farm Bureau has been trying to change the dynamic for the lame-duck session.
“It’s kind of two parts. One, I want to inform you as a congressman or as a senator, here is why it’s important to agriculture, and I also want to assure you congressman if you’re standing up and voting for farmers and ranchers, we’re going to make sure that folks back home, our fellow farmers and ranchers, our neighbors and folks in rural communities understand who you stood up and represented us in the U.S. Congress.”
Before that can happen, House and Senate leadership have to take a 180-degree turn and decide to bring up TPP. Moore says State Farm Bureau leaders are in DC this week and next to make that case.