What’s Obama’s rush on big trade agreement?
at 5:28am by Mark Matassa
In a smart take given the limited information, The New Yorker tries to untangle the merits of and the political fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It’s almost impossible to evaluate the details of the 800-page agreement, William Finnegan writes, because it is being negotiated in secret and only “cleared advisors” are allowed to read it and work on the text. Several sections have been leaked, and it seems the more that people see the proposal the more opposition it attracts. Some Republicans, Finnegan notes, don’t like it simply because President Obama does. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R- Montana, said, “I don’t have faith that President Obama will negotiate in the best interest of Montana or America.”
Otherwise, it’s politics as usual: The measure’s biggest backers are Republicans in the Senate and House, with Democratic leaders struggling to contribute the relatively few votes needed.
With sneak peeks and interviews with people involved, Zimmerman describes the proposal thus: “If enacted, it will encompass 40 percent of global economic activity. It is less a traditional trade deal than a comprehensive economic treaty and, at least for the United States, a strategic hedge against the vast and growing weight of Chinese regional influence. … Leaked drafts of chapters have occasionally surfaced — enough to alarm, among others, environmentalists, labor groups, and advocates for affordable medicine.”
Among members of the Washington State congressional delegations, Reps. Denny Heck and Adam Smith announced their opposition on Thursday, joining fellow Democratic and Rep. Jim McDermott, who’s already announced his opposition, says The Seattle Times.