President Obama is standing by his position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
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Obama, during a press conference on Tuesday with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said despite bipartisan opposition, he is still in favor of the trade agreement between 12 countries (United States, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei and New Zealand).
“We are part of a global economy—we’re not reversing that,” Obama said. “It can’t be reversed because it is driven by technology and it is driven by travel and cargo containers and the fact that the demand for products inside of our country means we have to get some things from other places and our export sector is a huge contributor to jobs and our economic wellbeing.”
He said, given the global economy, the benefits of TPP outweigh any faults.
“Most manufactured products now involve a global supply chain where parts are made in all corners of the globe and converge and then get assembled and packaged and sold. So the notion that we’re going to pull that up root and branch is unrealistic—point number one,” he said.
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Obama admitted that evidence has shown that prior trade deals the U.S. has been involved with have “not delivered on all benefits that were promised and had very localized costs.”
“There were communities that were hurt because plants moved out,” he said. “People lost jobs. Jobs were created because of those trade deals, but jobs were also lost. And people who experienced those losses, those communities, didn’t get as much help as they needed to. And what is also true is as a consequence of globalization and automation. What you’ve seen is labor—workers—losing leverage and capital being mobile—being able to locate around the world. That has all contributed to growing inequality, both here in the United States, but in many advanced economies.”
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
During an interview with FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney on Tuesday, Trump reiterated his opposition to TPP.
“The biggest job-providing program would be to renegotiate NAFTA and not sign TPP,” Trump continued, “my plan is to renegotiate NAFTA, make it either good or get out of NAFTA. I want to bring our jobs back.”