Congress will flush TPP down the toilet, White House concedes

Obama administration admits defeat after congressional leaders from both parties say they will not bring trade deal forward during lame-duck session

White House officials conceded on Friday that the presidents hard-fought-for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would not pass Congress, as lawmakers there prepared for the anti-global trade policies of President-elect Donald Trump.

Earlier this week, congressional leaders in both parties said they would not bring the trade deal forward during a lame-duck session of Congress, before the formal transition of power on 20 January.

The Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, who will be minority leader in the next Congress, told union leaders the trade deal would not pass. Senator Mitch McConnell, the chambers Republican majority leader, told reporters no when asked if Congress would consider the TPP.

The deal has supporters in both parties but became a campaign symbol for lost manufacturing jobs, especially in the rust belt states.

The TPP would have included the US and 11 countries in Asia, South America and the south Pacific, and was designed in large part to curb the growing economic influence of China.

But it was attacked almost daily by Trump, who called it a continuing rape of our country and argued that as a symbol of globalized manufacturing in general, it had sent jobs from the US to other countries and damaged the American economy.

Trump has similarly argued that the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) negotiated by George HW Bush, signed by both Republican and Democratic presidents and passed through a Republican Congress destroyed jobs in the US.

Trumps opponent, Hillary Clinton, argued against the TPP in its current form, although she supported it while secretary of state for the Obama White House. During the Democratic primary she was pushed by Bernie Sanders, a self-identified democratic socialist senator from Vermont, to give up her support.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/12/tpp-trade-deal-congress-obama

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