20 Sep Why Obama Is Still Trying to Pass the T.P.P.
In a speech before the New York Economic Club last week, Donald J. Trump offered up his economic plan for the future. Unsurprisingly, one of the foundations of his plan was ripping up “terrible” trade agreements and, especially, a vow to “keep America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
Trump isn’t the only one to object to the T.P.P., of course. Bernie Sanders hates it with a passion, and Hillary Clinton, who once favored it, now opposes it. Even Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury Secretary and a free-trade advocate, has argued that any trade gains the T.P.P. produces might not be worth the effort expended to reach an agreement.
But on Friday, President Obama made the first of a series of last-ditch efforts to persuade Congress to approve the T.P.P.—an agreement his Administration spent five years negotiating. He met at the White House with a bipartisan group of business and political leaders, including Ohio’s Governor John Kasich, the Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards, to publicize the advantages of the trade pact and plot a lobbying strategy. In a bit of political theatre, Kasich, who pointedly has not endorsed Trump after a bitter primary campaign, took to the White House briefing room following the meeting to simultaneously wave the flag for the T.P.P. and tweak Trump’s unsophisticated trade views. “Blaming somebody’s loss of a job on somebody who came in from Mexico is a simple way to scapegoat,” Kasich told reporters.