Job killing is what Obama is good at….
President Obama faced deep skepticism from fellow Democrats over the hard-fought Pacific Rim trade deal after it was released early Thursday morning, with critics calling it a “job-killing” agreement as the administration argued it’s an economic win.
The Trans Pacific Partnership, after spending months under wraps, was posted online Thursday morning. The debate over the deal has cut across party lines, with Obama enjoying some support from Republicans yet facing fierce resistance from congressional Democrats.
Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., said Thursday the deal may be “worse than we thought,” predicting the agreement would lead to American job losses and calling on lawmakers to stop the deal.
The text of the agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries including Japan and Mexico runs to 30 chapters and hundreds of pages. It is dense in its detail, laying out plans for the handling of trade in everything from zinc dust to railway sleepers and live eels.
The documents show the pact reached Oct. 5 in Atlanta after several years of talks is full of lofty goals. Negotiators agreed to promote environmental sustainability, respect the rights and needs of indigenous peoples, and temper protections for drug patents with safeguards for public health and access to medicines.
It also emphasizes the intention of the trading bloc to abide by earlier commitments made under the World Trade Organization and other international treaties.
But critics see abundant potential for the agreement to expose more American workers to low-wage competition, giving multinational corporations excessive power.
Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., echoed Edwards in saying “it appears that the agreement is even worse than expected, and the auto industry is among the biggest losers.”
She specifically complained, in a statement, about the “lack of any meaningful protections against currency manipulation,” predicting that would continue to threaten U.S. jobs.
New House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., meanwhile, said he was reserving judgment. “But I remain hopeful that our negotiators reached an agreement that the House can support because a successful TPP would mean more good jobs for American workers and greater U.S. influence in the world,” he said.
The early reaction sets the stage for an intense debate likely to drag well into next year.