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Obama Administration Giving up on Lame-Duck TPP Vote

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As expected, the outgoing Obama administration is throwing in the towel regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and will not seek a vote on the agreement during the lame duck session of Congress. Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress told the White House they would not advance the trade deal in the election’s aftermath, and Obama administration officials acknowledged the agreement has no path forward now in the United States. The move comes with little surprise following the election results and remarks by House and Senate leadership earlier this year. The Obama administration had campaigned heavily in support of TPP before the elections in an effort to garner more support. Now, President-elect Donald Trump is expected to withdraw from the trade deal.

Can TPP live again? U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says years of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership were not a waste of time and the deal could still be implemented at some point. Speaking at an event on trade this week, Froman says aspects of TPP— if not the deal itself —should be preserved and revived down the road. Froman told the crowd a clear takeaway from last week’s election results is that Americans are concerned they are on an unfair playing field globally. Froman says he is hopeful the benefits of TPP will be seen over time as the rest of the world moves on. He did not go as far to say TPP is “dead,” but referred to the trade deal as being in purgatory. Also speaking at the event, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, while the agreement is on hold, “that doesn’t mean the entire trade agenda has to be.” He encouraged President-elect Donald Trump to focus on strengthening the problems he sees in trade agreements including TPP and NAFTA.

Source: NAFB News Service