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Marketplace Morning Report
President Obama talks trade

The battle lines shape up on the TPP

Tracey Samuelson Oct 9, 2015
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership took a big step forward this week as negotiating teams from 12 countries totaling hundreds of delegates agreed to a deal. The terms they settled on are still being incorporated into the text, which hasn’t yet been publically released.

But that hasn’t stopped lawmakers, industry groups and, yes, candidates from giving their verdicts on the TPP in a flurry of statements, speeches and tweets.

“There’s a certain amount of knee-jerk reaction to these trade deals both proponents and opponents,” said Jared Bernstein, with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The White House jumped into sales mode. There was cautious optimism from some environmental groups, disappointment from others, vows to fight the deal from organized labor. There are politicians who said they’re holding out to read the deal, and others, like Hillary Clinton, who said they’re worried it isn’t good enough.

Because of mandatory posting and review periods, the TPP can’t go to Congress until early 2016. Its timing from there is less certain.

“It could be quickly or it could be contentious,” said Dan Ikenson, with the Cato Institute. “The fact is, it’s going to be happening during the election season, which is fantastic as far as I’m concerned.”

He said this is an important issue, and politicians should be forced to confront it.

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