Arab Today, arab today senate democrats block obama on freetrade initiative
Last Updated : GMT 01:10:16
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Senate Democrats block Obama on free-trade initiative

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Senate Democrats block Obama on free-trade initiative

US President Barack Obama
Washington - AFP

US Senate Democrats dealt a stinging setback to Barack Obama, blocking a measure that would have given their own president a free hand to swiftly finalize a massive Pacific Rim trade accord.

Republicans backed Obama's bid for the trade authority, but many Democrats felt betrayed by the measure's failure to punish currency manipulation or include protections for American workers impacted by globalization.

The bill would have allowed Obama to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently under negotiation, and an upcoming US-Europe trade pact, to Congress for an up-or-down vote, with lawmakers prevented from making changes.

The White House says it needs such fast-track authority in order to finalize talks with the 11 other nations in the TPP, without the threat of Congress adding amendments once negotiations are complete.

Democrats withdrew their support after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to package the measure with three other trade bills, including one that cracks down on currency manipulation -- seen by many as the key impediment to fair trade.

"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," said Senator Chuck Schumer, a senior Democrat.

All Democrats but one, Senator Tom Carper, voted against formally opening debate on the measure, a procedure that needed 60 votes in the 100-member chamber but failed 52-45.

"This should be a top priority for Democrats and Republicans," said the pro-trade Carper, who had held a last-ditch press conference extolling the benefits of trade promotion authority.

- Collapse of support -

But Senate Republican John Thune said that the Democrats' abandonement of Obama, who has viewed trade as perhaps the primary legislative goal of his remaining 21 months in office, amounted to "throwing their own president under the bus."

McConnell called the vote "shocking," while labor unions declared it a victory for American workers.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, who co-authored the package of trade bills, expressed astonishment at the collapse of what he described as an agreement to support both executive trade authority and trade adjustment to fund worker assistance programs.

"It's amazing to me that they would do this to the president, on a bill of this magnitude," Hatch fumed.

The vote did not kill the trade authority bill, but only delayed it. McConnell said he intends to bring it up again, perhaps after lawmakers reach agreement on how to proceed with the four trade measures.

That could spell bad news for Obama, who might be forced to swallow unwanted trade enforcement provisions that his administration says would make it hard for TPP partners to sign on.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he hoped senators would be able to "work through" the procedural hang-up.

Obama met with 10 Senate Democrats after the vote to discuss the path forward, with the White House saying the president and members remained "committed to continuing work on this important priority."

But Hatch, who insisted that attaching an enforceable currency provision to the TPA bill would doom the Pacific trade accord, voiced dismay, saying "I don't know where we're going to go."

Trade authority supporters say the legislation would require 150 congressional negotiating priorities be met in the trade pact, including provisions on human rights and the environment.

But critics say the accord, under negotiation in secrecy, is a job-killer that prioritizes corporate interests over those of American workers.

"We want more trade, we just want it under very different definitions and very different rules," said Senate Democrat Sherrod Brown, who is helping lead opposition to the Pacific trade deal.

Critics argue that uniting 12 nations in a free-trade zone would prompt a race to the bottom on wages, with the US workforce unable to compete with cheap labor in pact partners like Chile, Peru and Vietnam.

"Trust us to know what's good for workers. This ain't it," said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, America's largest labor organization representing 12 million workers.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today senate democrats block obama on freetrade initiative Arab Today, arab today senate democrats block obama on freetrade initiative

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 18:12 2017 Friday ,24 February

Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models
View News in Arabic - Business: قضايا ساخنة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday