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Dan Gilmore / April 28, 2015

Obama: Congress Is Just Afraid of a Little Globalization

In pushing for a free-trade agreement with countries arrayed around the Pacific Ocean, Barack Obama has managed to enter the rare political situation of gaining opponents in both Democrat and Republican parties. Democrats, led by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, bray that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt the middle class. Republicans, well, they have a right to be suspicious, because the administration that “led” the U.S. economy on its slowest recovery to date wants to negotiate a trade deal that will have huge economic implications. Furthermore, Obama is seeking approval for this treaty in a simple yes-no vote, a move that speeds up the negotiation process, but one that also cheapens Congress’ role in negotiating treaties. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Obama called the skeptics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership scared of a little globalization. After all, if the U.S. does nothing, then China will establish its trade agreements and earn influence over that corner of the globe. “What we can’t do, though, is withdraw,” Obama said. “There has been a confluence of anti-global engagement from both elements of the right and elements of the left that I think [is] a big mistake.” There is a reason why the Constitution grants Congress the power to approve treaties, and the argument that we’re running out of time is no excuse to trust the judgment of one man. More…

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