Congress skeptical of new trade deal

After years of negotiations, a trade deal was reached by the United States and 11 other countries on Monday. The deal was met with some weariness,  setting up a battle over if the agreement should be approved.

The Huffington Post reports that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would set benchmarks and break down current trade barriers between 12 countries. The agreement has been a central part of President Obama’s economic agenda. The passing of the agreement would be a huge victory in terms of his presidency.

The deal is currently receiving harsh critiques from members of Congress. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders refers to the deal as “disastrous”. He vowed to defeat it on the Senate floor.

Republican senators that helped sponsor previous legislation, giving President Obama the ability to expedite trade related negotiations, have been hesitant to celebrate the pending agreement. Among the concerns are the benefits of the agreement for American families, overall. Praise for the requirements that force Malaysia and Vietnam to comply with labor standards has come from some, but fall short of a real endorsement for the deal.

Senator Ron Wyden, of Oregon, said, “”It’s now time for Congress and the public to examine the details of the TPP and assess whether it will advance the nation’s interests.”

Other figures praised the agreement’s provisions for labor standards and tobacco regulations. Though concerns over currency and Mexican labor practices are being vocalized. The argument at the core of all criticisms stems from the vagueness on how the agreement will benefit Americans for years to follow.

 

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