We’ll look at the white-hot politics of trade as President Obama and Congress go to the mat on the TPP.
The President wants a huge new Pacific trade deal, and he wants it fast so it doesn’t get bogged down and derailed. So China doesn’t write the rules. Yesterday, his own party said no. Senate Democrats rebelled without more assurances, protections, guarantees. And now, the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership – the TPP – is way up in the air. The White House is calling it a “snafu.” Maybe. But it’s also a serious battle over how the world will work. How Americans workers, business and trade will fare. This hour On Point: the red hot politics of Pacific trade.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
From Tom’s Reading List
POLITICO: Democrats defy White House on trade pact — "In a stern rebuke to President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats rebelled against his trade initiative on Tuesday afternoon and voted against even opening debate on the bill. Democrats have demanded additional worker protections before they would consider voting to approve fast-track trade powers for the president. Shortly ahead of the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected the demands, insisting he would not make any guarantees beyond a vote on the fast-track bill.
Washington Post: Senate Democrats vote to block Obama on trade -- "The trade legislation failed an afternoon test vote, 52 to 45. Sixty votes were needed to begin formal debate of measures that would pave the way for approval of a complex Pacific trade accord and provide relief to unemployed workers affected by trade deals. Ahead of the vote, many Democrats — including some of the handful who have supported Obama’s trade push — said they were not inclined to move forward with debate unless Republican leaders provided assurances that the various pieces would move in tandem."
Huffington Post: Fast Track to Lost Jobs and Lower Wages — "Creating millions of jobs in the United States, and especially, good jobs in manufacturing and construction, would raise U.S. wages and begin to reverse the growing U.S. income inequality that has held back the economy for the past 30 years. The president can continue the fight for fast-track and the TPP, raising corporate profits while putting good manufacturing jobs and wages at risk. Or he can take action to create jobs and reduce inequality. He can't do both."
This program aired on May 13, 2015.