Welles Orr commented on Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's recent position reversal regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), stating she is no longer in favor of the massive 12-nation trade accord. "Clinton's politically calculated announcement in opposition to the recently concluded TPP deal is unfortunate but not surprising," Orr said. "I doubt Clinton's opposition will bear a whole lot of weight in the fight for Democratic votes for the TPP next year, but it doesn't make the White House lobbying effort any easier. The White House is now launching a full-court press to fully brief Congress and the private sector on the merits of the deal."
Under the rules of the Trade Promotion Authority bill (TPA) approved this summer, the U.S. Trade Representative will finalize the TPP text and release it for congressional review within 30 days, followed by a 90-day notice by the president of his intent to sign, which will allow for plenty of time for Congress to completely scrutinize the deal. "However, some seasoned pro-trade skeptics say this big window of review required by the TPA could be a curse rather than a blessing for the TPP's ultimate passage," Orr said, adding "the biggest challenge for the TPP is its consideration in a presidential election year -- a first for a trade vote of this size."