Mitch McConnell: TPP could lose if brought up before elections

On December 10, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned President Obama that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could be voted down if brought up before the elections. According to The Hill:

President Obama is risking defeat of his signature trade deal if he tries to push for passage before a lame-duck session next year.

“It certainly shouldn’t come before the election," McConnell told The Washington Post in an interview

"I think the president would be making a big mistake to try to have that voted on during the election. There’s significant pushback all over the place," he said.

The Washington Post explains that the Fast-Track legislation, passed by Congress last spring, largely lets President Obama determine when TPP will be brought up for up-or-down votes in the House and Senate:

Under the terms of the fast-track legislation, Obama must wait 90 days after the announcement of the final TPP agreement before signing the pact and sending it to Congress; that could happen by Feb. 4. Lawmakers would then work with the administration to determine when a vote would take place. Obama aides have said that could come by late March at the earliest.

So what makes TPP so unpopular with voters? My father and I summarized its provisions in the American Thinker:

  1. A legislative body superior to Congress
  2. A vehicle to pass Obama’s climate change treaty
  3. Increased legal immigration
  4. Reduced patent protection for U.S. pharmaceuticals
  5. Quotas on U.S. agricultural exports
  6. Increased currency manipulation
  7. Reduced U.S. power

However, TPP is quite popular among those American corporations that produce abroad. Nike for example, has been leading the push for TPP. It doesn't have a single factory in the United States that would be hurt by TPP, and its huge factory in Vietnam would benefit greatly from TPP's tolerance for Vietnam's currency manipulations. 

Senator McConnell and the rest of the Republican establishment in Washington have a huge problem. They have to sneak in their anti-American votes after elections, or they would get turned out of office. The donor class that they serve can't marshal votes, since most of their employees are foreigners who work in factories abroad.

Obama may or may not go along with McConnell's request to put off the TPP vote until after the election. An early vote on TPP would give him enough time to add the Paris climate agreement to TPP before he leaves office and would help him suppress Republican voter turnout.

Dr. Howard Richman with his father and son co-authored the 2014 book Balanced Trade: Ending the Unbearable Costs of America’s Trade Deficits, published by Lexington Books, and the 2008 book Trading Away Our Future, published by Ideal Taxes Association.

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