President Obama is set to sign Pacific Rim trade pact

obama pacific rim trade pact

The Obama administration released the full text of a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade pact on Thursday, announces Washington Post. One of the President’s top priorities, the trade pact still has to pass through Congress first.

A month ago, in Atlanta, ministers from 12 countries ( United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam) reached an agreement consisting in a trade pact that extends on 30 chapters and hundreds of pages.

A first step in a big plan

The text’s release is only the first step in Obama’s plan, as the President wants to notify lawmakers of his intent to sign the trade pact, says the same source. Obama must then wait 90 days before he can put his name on the pact and send the agreement to Capitol Hill. There, he will use the “fast-track” trade legislation approved by Congress in the spring. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has also opposition.

Leading candidates for the spot at the White House, including Democratic Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Republican Donald Trump, have declared themselves against this trade pact.

“We look forward to showing people what we’ve done. Trade agreements have always enjoyed bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition and the TPP is no different. They always evoke passion on both sides.”, said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in an interview, quoted by Washington Post. In the upcoming weeks, the President will go in front of the people to explain what this trade pact consist of.

Final terms to be agreed in March 2016

If all goes well, the deal could be on the Congress’ table by March, but when lawmakers would schedule a vote remains uncertain, as congressional leaders could choose to delay the process even until after Obama leaves the White House in January 2017.

The 12 coutries included in the trade pact are responsible for 36 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.