Monday, May 18, 2015

TRADE WARS - Asia Trade Deal

IMHO:  I agree with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, if a trade deal is good for America, the details should be public BEFORE it is made fast-track.  The secrecy is bad, what are 'they' trying to hide?

"Democrats freeze fast-track authority for Asia trade deal" PBS NewsHour 5/12/2015


SUMMARY:  Senate Democrats blocked debate on renewing fast-track negotiating authority for President Obama, deemed vital for winning passing a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.  Opponents of the bill, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, say details of the negotiated plan have been kept secret by the White House. Gwen Ifill reports.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  One of the president’s remaining top legislative goals is to get a major new trade accord with Asia.  But he suffered a stinging defeat today in the opening battle to gain the authority to speed a deal through Congress.  The magic number to start a full Senate debate was 60 votes.  But, in falling short, it showed just how polarizing the disagreement over international trade really is.

MAN:  On this vote, the yeas are 52; the nays are 45.

GWEN IFILL:  In the end, trade politics put the President at odds with many in his own party and in line with most Republicans.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) Utah:  We’re talking about President Obama’s top priority, his top legislative priority, and one of the most important bills in this President’s service as President of the United States of America.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, (D) New York:   We know the global economy is a rough sea.  And Republicans are asking us to pass a trade package that forces the American worker to navigate those waters in a leaky boat.  We want to plug up those leaks.

GWEN IFILL:  The result, at least for now, is that the Senate has blocked renewal of the fast track negotiating authority that Mr. Obama wanted.  That would allow Congress to approve, but not amend, future trade deals.

It’s deemed vital to winning passage of a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. TPP, as it’s known, would include 11 mostly Asian nations that, together with the U.S., account for some 40 percent of the global economy.  Supporters say it would bring greater prosperity by removing tariffs and other barriers and opening trade.

The President visited the sportswear manufacturer Nike last week, which announced the deal would create allow them to create 10,000 American jobs.

"Why labor unions oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership" PBS NewsHour 5/12/2015


SUMMARY:  Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership say the deal would bring greater prosperity by opening trade, but opponents say it fails to include labor protections and could cost jobs.  In the first in a series of conversations about what’s at stake, Gwen Ifill talks to Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO about why he opposes the trade deal.

"Trade bill is one of the most important in U.S. history, says Sen. Hatch" PBS NewsHour 5/13/2015


SUMMARY:  Supporters of a proposed trade pact with Asia ran into a roadblock Tuesday when a test vote on giving President Obama fast-track authority failed in the Senate.  Judy Woodruff talks to Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a co-sponsor of the fast-track legislation, about a new compromise reached by lawmakers and why he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"Sen. Warren: If Obama is confident about trade deal, he should make details public" PBS NewsHour 5/13/2015


SUMMARY:  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is one of the more vocal opponents in the debate over granting President Obama fast-track authority on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.  Judy Woodruff talks to Warren about her concerns about transparency and how American workers may be hurt.

"Will the proposed Asia trade pact give U.S. companies more customers?" PBS NewsHour 5/14/2015


SUMMARY:  Days after Senate Democrats blocked debate over the president’s fast-track authority, the Senate put the trade deal with Asia back on track.  To get a business perspective on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Hari Sreenivasan talks to John Murphy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents 3 million businesses and employers and has been pushing hard for the deal.

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