Two events affecting the TPPA

Two events affecting the TPPA
Unhappy lot: Members of the JA group (Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives) attending an anti-TPP rally in Tokyo, Japan.

Two events last week may have significant impact on the TPPA - opposition by US Congress members to the 'fast-track authority' and the leaking of the TPPA's intellectual property chapter.

The process to conclude the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by this year met two obstacles last week.

The chief negotiators of the 12 TPP countries will be meeting in Salt Lake City in the United States this week, aimed at ironing out outstanding differences so that the trade ministers can reach an agreement when they meet in Singapore in December.

A quite unexpected event took place in Washington last week when an overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress made clear that they opposed fast-track authority for trade deals.

Of the 201 Democrats in the House of Representatives, 166 sent letters to President Barack Obama rejecting his push for a Bill to grant him fast-track authority.

It is embarrassing that the President's own party members are so opposed to giving him that authority.

Another 28 House Republicans have also, so far, announced their opposition. Since 218 votes (a majority of the 435 representatives) are needed in the House to get fast-track authority, there appears to be little chance that the President will get his wish.

Congress has the power to adopt trade agreements negotiated by the Administration.

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