by Daniel R. Pearson
March 17, 2014
The nation has been living with the Obama administration’s trade policy for five years, with relatively little to show for it. In the remaining three years, is the executive branch likely to obtain Trade Promotion Authority and successfully conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? Experience indicates it’s most likely that the administration will accomplish none of this. Building support for the negotiation of trade agreements and for the passage of enacting legislation requires a firm commitment to the cause of trade liberalization, an understanding of the economics that make open markets so desirable, an eagerness to explain the benefits to those who are undecided, and a willingness to invest a whole lot of political capital to round up the required votes. It’s not clear whether any of those conditions currently exist.