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Tech industry desperate for US action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Grant Gross | Aug. 17, 2016
With Clinton and Trump both opposed to the trade deal, time is short for supporters

After either Clinton or Trump takes office, the deal is almost certainly dead in the U.S. But supporters, including the CTA, are pushing for congressional action late this year. Other tech trade groups declined to talk about their strategy in the coming months.

So is Obama. He promised to push for the deal during a press conference in early August. "Right now, I’m president and I’m for it and I think I’ve got the better argument," he said after questions about opposition from Clinton and Trump.

The U.S. is part of a global economy, he said then. "We're not reversing that," he added. "It can't be reversed because it is driven by technology, and it is driven by travel and cargo containers .. and our export sector is a huge contributor to jobs and our economic wellbeing."

CTA has called on the Clinton campaign to reverse its opposition to TPP, given that Clinton supported the deal while she served as Obama's secretary of state and that vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine voiced support for the deal as recently as mid-July.

However, the "best-case scenario is that somehow the bipartisan consensus on trade can prevail" in Congress by the end of this year, said CTA's Moore. "There's been so much work that's been done on TPP."

No matter who is elected president this fall, delaying action until next year would "restart the conversation" about TPP, she added. "If it doesn't happen this year, then we could be waiting for years. That makes it very difficult for our companies to compete in a number of markets."

 

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