US President Barack Obama is having a hard time convincing the Congress to give him authority to “fast track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 5-year-old ongoing negotiation with Japan, Canada and 8 other countries over the signing of a trade and investment treaty.
Surprisingly, the Obama administration has been meeting growing difficulties – particularly with fellow Democrats – about the TPP not because the Congress and the public opinion opposed the essence of it – meaning free trade – but because the negotiations have been so confidential – like with the EU’s TTIP – that some think the TPP won’t really benefit the people but rather amplify “corporate America’s” financial room for profits abroad.
On the other hand, the base support for Obama went this time above political divisions with both Democrats and Republicans who stressed the need for America’s to pass the TPP in a decisive move to counter China’s growing influence. “China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. (…) We should write those rules,” President Obama declared in his latest State of the Union address. With the TPP unresolved, this is the final outcome of the whole America’s rebalance to Asia that could be put at risk.