Echoing earlier suggestions President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact was unlikely to get Senate consideration before he leaves office, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the audience at a Louisville, Kentucky, breakfast on Thursday that the international agreement will not be put on the floor for a vote until 2017 at the earliest.
“The current agreement, the Trans-Pacific (Partnership) agreement, which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year,” Sen. McConnell said. “But it will still be around. It can be massaged, changed, worked on during the next administration. So, I hope America will stay in the trade business,”
The Obama White House is in the midst of a flurry of pro-TPP events with the president and cabinet members making every effort to promote the deal’s merits.
A contentious issue with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the New York businessman has assailed the proposal and has vowed to pull the agreement from a Senate vote if elected in favor of bilateral agreements with trading partners.
On the contrary, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton initially supported the agreement, declaring it was a “groundbreaking” pact and the path to creating jobs in the U.S., before switching positions in late 2015 with the rise in popularity of Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
[Reuters] [PBS] [Image courtesy ustr.gov]