SINGAPORE - The administration of US President Barack Obama and Congress remain mired in a standoff over trade policy.
If Obama fails to get trade promotion authority from Congress, the proposed US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries, which is now in the final stage of negotiations, may fall through.
The US and Japan are the two biggest economic powers in the proposed TPP free trade zone.
The political gridlock in Washington over the TPP issue makes the US, a global superpower, actually look smaller in the eyes of many people in other countries.
The continuing uncertainty over TPP policy in the US has also cast a chill over the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which would be at the centre of the proposed huge economic zone.
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