The Trans-Pacific Partnership is long overdue. The TPP is expected to be highly beneficial for the US and its partners, providing opportunities in the international open market especially in the fastest-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region. Given the weakened state of the US and global economies, this partnership will be the most vital international trade agreement in several decades, and it should expedite commerce in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Obama Administration has been working rather quickly to finalize the comprehensive 12-nation deal as a bipartisan effort containing Republicans’ support. The Senate approved the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) last month with a large bipartisan vote. The TPA, known as the ‘fast-track’ authority legislation, gives the president the authorization to negotiate a deal that will only allow votes in Congress.
Conversely, Democrats in the House, followed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, voted against the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a provision of the TPA. The TAA is a federal entitlement program that provides financial assistance, $450 million of annual appropriations through June 30, 2021, to American workers who may lose jobs from its partnerships’ competition.