Despite consistent and vocal opposition from organized labor, environmentalists, progressive economy experts and others warning against the damaging impacts of a trans-Pacific trade agreement that remains under negotiations by the U.S. and twelve other nations, President Obama on Monday once again voiced his support for what he said would be a “historic” agreement.
In Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart and to attend the
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Though Obama ran for president in 2008 as a staunch opponent of similarly designed trade deals, including NAFTA, since taking in office, he has forcefully pushed for the TPP and a similar deal with European nations, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
“This has the potential for being an historic agreement,” Obama said of the TPP to heads-of-state and trade commissioners at the APEC summit’s opening session on Monday.
If approved, the TPP would be the world’s largest economic trade agreement, encompassing more than 40 percent of the world’s GDP. Though China would not be party to the agreement, the TPP would cover the U.S., Canada and Mexico in North America; Chile and Peru in South America; and Japan, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam in the Pacific-Asia region.
Though U.S. officials said no breathroughs or announcements were expected on the deal during this trip, the president used the occasion to champion the aims of the TPP.