Washington: Making a strong case for the 12- nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, US President Barack Obama today said without this agreement, competitors like China who do not share American values will write the rules of the global economy.
The US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday reached final agreement on the largest regional trade accord in history. Now the deal faces months of scrutiny in Congress.
In his weekly address to the nation Obama acknowledged that past trade agreements have not always lived up to expectations, but emphasised that this is a good deal, with the strongest commitments on labour and environment of any trade agreement in history.
Arguing that it reflects America’s values and gives its workers the fair shot at success they deserve, Obama encouraged everyone to read the agreement, which will be available online well before he signs it, and looked forward to working with lawmakers from both parties as they consider and approve this deal.
“This week, after five years of effort with eleven other nations, we reached agreement on a new trade deal that promotes American values and protects American workers,” Obama said in his weekly radio and web address.
“With this Trans-Pacific Partnership, we are writing the rules for the global economy. America is leading in the 21st century. Our workers will be the ones who get ahead. Our businesses will get a fair deal. And those who oppose passing this new trade deal are really just accepting a status quo that everyone knows puts us at a disadvantage,” he said.
“Without this agreement, competitors that don’t share our values, like China, will write the rules of the global economy. They’ll keep selling into our markets and try to lure companies over there; meanwhile they’re going to keep their markets closed to us,” Obama said.
Obama said TPP includes the strongest labour standards in history, from requiring fair hours to prohibiting child labour and forced labour.
It includes the strongest environmental standards in history, he argued.
“All these things level the playing field for us, because if they have to follow these rules, then they can’t undercut us and sell their products cheaper because they’re violating these rules. And unlike past trade agreements, these standards are actually enforceable,” he said.
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