President Obama, in his push to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), said it would keep China from controlling the region – encouraging the Senate to pass the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) last month, which allows him to fast-track negotiations and finalize the TPP.
Now Obama is saying China could join the agreement, according to Politico.
The interview with public radio’s “Marketplace” will air Wednesday evening, when Obama is set to make his announcement about China.
“They’ve already started putting out feelers about possibilities of them participating at some point,” Obama said to Kai Ryssdal, the show’s host. He said the feelers are directed “To us, to Jack Lew, the Treasury Secretary.”
This revelation proves that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) – who was one of the most vocal senators in opposition to passing the TPA – was right in his warning about the “living agreement” within the trade deal.
“The ‘living agreement’ provision means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China), and could also change any of the terms of the agreement, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees. Again: these changes would not be subject to congressional approval,” Sessions warned in early May – at least three weeks before the Senate passed the legislation.
The legislation is now in the House of Representatives, which will decide whether to pass it and grant Obama fast-track trade authority to finalize the TPP.