• White House Releases Text of Trade Deal
  • November 10, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • On Thursday, the White House finally released the full text of the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The release of the text triggers the 90-day review period for Congress. Under the fast-track trade legislation signed this spring, President Obama must wait 90 days before sending the bill to Congress for approval.

    The fight for final Congressional approval is likely to be a bruising one. But the president and his allies are preparing a massive PR blitz in the coming weeks as part of their efforts to pass the trade deal, which is one of the highest priorities for the Obama administration. In particular, the White House plans to focus on the economic and foreign policy benefits of the TPP trade deal.

    President Obama will continue to make the case that in the absence of American leadership in this area the vacuum will be filled by someone. "[I]f we don't pass this agreement - if America doesn't write the rules - then countries like China will," said Obama on Thursday.

    The fight for ratification of the deal will be particularly bruising because of the bipartisan coalition that opposes the deal, a coalition of strange political bedfellows that includes Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Republican front-runner Donald Trump (R-NY).

    Democratic opposition to the trade deal is being motivated by concerns over enforceable protections for workers and the environment.

    While the Obama administration says that TPP's labor chapter will improve conditions for workers, labor unions remain skeptical.

    Environmental groups were more than "skeptical" about the text, with leading green groups blasting the deal as "toxic" and "rife with polluter giveaways that would undermine decades of environmental progress, threaten our climate, and fail to adequately protect wildlife."

    The 12-nation TPP deal includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. These 12 nations account for roughly 36 percent of the world's gross domestic product.