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Michael Froman: Where the TPP Stands

Posted June 20, 2016

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues


(Wall Street Journal)

Trade has been battered in this presidential campaign, by the left and the right. To better understand what’s happening, Jeanne Cummings, political editor of The Wall Street Journal, sat down with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the White House’s chief negotiator on trade issues. Edited excerpts follow.

MS. CUMMINGS: Bring us up-to-date on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

MR. FROMAN: This deal includes 12 countries, representing about 40% of the global economy. We completed it in October, published it in November, signed it in February. And now we’re working with congressional leadership and the leadership of our committees to prepare for it to be taken up by Congress.

Hung up

MS. CUMMINGS: It’s gotten hung up. What do you have to target to move enough votes to try to get it passed?

MR. FROMAN: A handful of issues have been flagged as of concern, and we’re working our way through all of them. Some of the agricultural issues, for example, involving dairy or pork. I think dairy and pork are now in favor of the agreement.

There was an issue around the free flow of data and data-localization requirements for financial-services companies. We’re working our way through that right now. I think that’s trending in a positive direction.

The main outstanding issue has to do with intellectual-property rights, with biologics, pharmaceuticals. We’re working closely with Congress and industry to try and find a pathway forward. Click here to read more.