It’s Alive–U.S. Trade Rep: Congress Has the Votes to Pass TPP

Obama and Chinese President Shake AP

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says Congress has the votes to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement if it is brought up for a vote.

“If they [House and Senate leaders] bring it forward, I think we can get the votes there,” Froman told NBC on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton was a vocal proponent of the TPP–having reportedly praised the deal at least 45 times–and played a “leading part in drafting” the deal before she was eventually forced to distance herself from her prior support for political reasons.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has previously argued that Clinton only says she’s against the TPP because she was “shamed” into doing so, and has warned that, if she is elected President, Clinton “will immediately approve it [TPP] if it is put before her.”

“Here’s how it would go,” Trump has explained, “She would make a small token change, declare the pact fixed, and ram it through. That’s why Hillary is now only saying she has problems with the TPP ‘in its current form,’ – ensuring that she can rush to embrace it again at her earliest opportunity.”

Indeed, during a recent CNBC interview, Bill Clinton said that the case for approving the TPP is “clear.” Similarly, just last week, Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, seemed to leave the door open to the possibility that a Hillary Clinton administration would pass an Asian trade deal similar to the TPP, declaring “you never close the door” on passing this type of multi-national trade deal.

The Washington Post has reported that Clinton’s agenda on foreign trade would likely be advanced by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Like Clinton, Ryan has been an enthusiastic advocate for globalist trade policies. In 2015, Ryan was President Obama’s “partner” in their effort to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In a 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ryan described the TPP as an “historic” agreement which “would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.”

However, like Clinton, Ryan was forced to rhetorically distance himself from his prior support for TPP when faced with a primary challenge this past summer.

“After spending more than a year praising the TPP, and pushing through the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) package needed to grease the skids for it last year, Ryan” backed away slightly from his former position as a result of his contentious primary battle in Wisconsin’s first Congressional district, Breitbart reported earlier this year. “I have my own problems with TPP. It is not ready,” Ryan said of the 12-nation trade pact in August– indicating that he’d be open to enacting a tweaked version of the agreement at a later date. While campaigning, Ryan told his Wisconsin constituents that he wouldn’t bring the deal up for a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress “as long as we don’t have the votes.”

A recent blockbuster POLITICO pro-Harvard poll found that among those who have heard of the TPP, 63% oppose it and 68% think it “should not be voted on until the new Congress comes into office after the lame-duck session.”

The polling data also revealed that a majority of Americans reject the globalist trade agenda of Washington leaders like Clinton and Ryan. By a five-to-one margin, Americans believe that trade policies with other countries have lost American jobs. By a nearly four-to-one margin, Americans believe our trade policies have lowered rather than raised wages. Only 14% of Americans believe our trade policies have raised U.S. wages.

Yet if Forman’s predictions are correct, the public’s opposition to such deals will not stop elected representatives in Congress from voting to enact one of the largest multinational trade agreements in history.

Trump has previously made the case that a Trump presidency is the only way to stop the passage of TPP.

“Our leaders have negotiated terrible deals that are bleeding this country dry,” Trump told Breitbart News earlier this year. “The TPP is another terrible one-sided deal that rewards offshoring and enriches other countries at our expense. I will stop Hillary’s Obamatrade in its tracks…”

Indeed, while Clinton now publicly claims to oppose the deal, in a private speech made public by WikiLeaks, Clinton made clear that she believes politicians need to have “both a public and a private position” on every issue.

During a closed-door speech delivered to Goldman Sachs executives, Clinton declared that her “dream” is for a “hemispheric common market with open trade.”

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has explained how both Republican and Democrat establishment politicians are united in their efforts to push the globalist trade deal that will “give corporations more power than nations.”

Stein and her party have explained how the TPP will be “NAFTA on steroids” and will “enrich wealthy corporations by exporting jobs and pushing down wages.” They have argued that the deal essentially amounts to a “global corporate coup” that “would give corporations more power than nations” by letting them “challenge our laws.”

Stein and her progressive supporters have excoriated Clinton for her longstanding support of trade policies that cede national sovereignty to transnational corporations, depress wages, and ship jobs overseas.

A report from the Economic Policy Institute has documented the impact the U.S. trade deficit with TPP nations has had on American jobs throughout the nation.

  • In 2015 alone, Michigan suffered a net loss of nearly 214,600 jobs due to the U.S. trade deficit with TPP countries, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
  • Ohio suffered a net loss of 112,500 jobs in 2015 due to the trade deficit with TPP nations, according to the report.
  • Pennsylvania lost nearly 70,000 jobs in 2015, according to the report..
  • North Carolina lost 60,700 jobs in 2015, according to the report.
  • Wisconsin lost nearly 40,000 jobs in 2015, according to the report.
  • Arizona lost 21,000 jobs in 2015, according to the report.
  • New Mexico lost 11,600 jobs in 2015 , according to the report.
  • New Hampshire lost 7,400 jobs in 2015, according to the report.


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