Obama touts broad support for trade, pressures Congress on Asia deal

Washington, Dhu-AlHijjah 16, 1437, Sep 17, 2016, SPA — US President Barack Obama is seeking to build support for his 12-country trade agreement with Asian economies, even in the midst of an election where both major-party presidential candidates oppose the deal, dpa reported.
Obama, who leaves office in January, is pressing for Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the weeks following the November 8 elections.
The so-called lame-duck legislative session, before the next president and new members of Congress take office, is the last chance for the measure.
The White House agreed to the measure last year, and Obama signed it on February 3. Both Hillary Clinton, the fellow Democrat for whom Obama has campaigned, and Republican nominee Donald Trump have opposed TPP.
Obama, who was in China and South-East Asia in early September for Group of 20 (G20) and regional summits, met Friday in the White House with TPP supporters, including both conservative Republicans and left-leaning Democrats, along with business executives who back the agreement.
“This bipartisan group made up of business leaders, mayors, governors, Republicans, Democrats, national security leaders and military leaders – the reason they’re here is because they know this is important for our economy, and they know that this is important for our national security and our standing in the world,” Obama said.
The TPP signatories are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
Obama emphasized that China, which is not a TPP member, “is pushing hard to create their own trading regime” in Asia.
— SPA
02:14 LOCAL TIME 23:14 GMT