But the trans-Pacific talks have been complicated by disputes over environmental issues and resistance in some Asian countries to a wholesale lowering of trade barriers. Also, U.S. standing in the region took a hit when Obama missed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting last October because of the American government shutdown.
At home, clearly more Republicans support free-trade agreements than do Democrats. Business interests generally favor such pacts, while labor unions tend to oppose them. Lower-priced imported goods and services may be welcomed by U.S. consumers, but one consequence can be the loss of U.S. manufacturing and service jobs.
Fast-track authority speeds up congressional action on trade deals by barring amendments.
Boehner, R-Ohio, taunts Obama by asserting that “Trade Promotion Authority is ready to go. So why isn’t it done?”
“It isn’t done because the president hasn’t lifted a finger to get Democrats in Congress to support it,” Boehner said, answering his own question. “And with jobs on the line, the president needs to pick up his phone and call his own party, so that we can get this done.”
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.