President Obama is a left wing liberal like much of the Democrat party’s base. This is something he proudly proclaims. Steve Murray suggests that at the same time, he is perplexed at how he can be so in tune with his Senate and House colleagues and yet face so much opposition from them on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty.
In fact, the president resurrected the same rhetoric Bill Clinton used with effectiveness against Senator Bob Dole in the 1996 Presidential election. Clinton framed Dole as wanting to build a “bridge to the past” whereas he was interested in building a bridge to the future. In like manner, President Obama upbraided his fellow progressives for wanting to go back to the past just because earlier free trade deals from the 1990s were flawed.
In an effort to bolster support for this TPP deal, the president said he has learned from the mistakes of prior trade deals. The TPP contains protections that will safeguard outsourcing of US jobs overseas. The deal has measures designed to prevent currency manipulation, a key factor as to why US auto makers struggle to sell cars in Japan. The deal also has measures to protect worker safety abroad. At the same time, the big three automakers oppose the TPP because they claim it lacks any measures to curb currency manipulation.