While United States President Barack Obama is continuing to push the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership, the agreement will likely have a hard time being embraced by the next President of the United States. The TPP has struggled to gain support since its introduction, and estimates show that it would currently only barely pass through Congress.
Last week, the contents of the TPP were made available to the public when New Zealand posted the entirety of the agreement online. Both Republicans and Democrats have blasted the deal, which consists of a trade agreement between the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific countries.
As for the leading presidential candidates, Sanders, Clinton and Trump have all spoken out in opposition against the proposal. Obama has already stated to Congress that he plans to sign the TPP. If the deal goes into effect, it would represent about 40% of the world’s total GDP.
However, there are still hurdles that need to be crossed. President Obama must wait 90 days before he can sign the agreement, and then he would have to wait another 90 legislative days to vote on the agreement. Many people speculate that a vote on TPP won’t even occur until after the presidential election of next year. Indeed, this might be an issue for the next president rather than President Obama.
Some experts feel that delaying the bill for the next President to handle would be ideal, rather than having the lame duck Obama make such a critical decision. But regardless of when it is presented to Congress, the TPP is expected to consist of a massive debate, with big names on both sides of the spectrum.
Under a fast-track law, the TPP will need just simple majority in Congress in order to go into law. Oddly enough, a Republican majority in both the House and Senate will be beneficial for the bill. Meanwhile, Obama is trying to get more fellow Democrats on board. Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has largely spoken out against the bill. Only 28 Democrats in the House and 13 Democrats in the Senate are currently in support of the trade agreement.
Some politicians have said that the TPP would have to be rewritten in order to gain their support. Provisions for certain biological drugs and pharmaceuticals have caused some lawmakers to dismiss the agreement entirely. Unless certain aspects of the deal are changed, it is unlikely that the TPP can gain enough support.
So after months of worrying about the highly-secretive agreement, the TPP might not even be accepted after all. Right now, it just doesn’t look like it has the needed support, and Obama’s time is simply running out.