Saturday, February 7, 2015

U.S. still lacks fast-track ok for TPP

The United States negotiators still lack fast-track status for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
Without that status, it’s unlikely that others involved will make a deal that includes the U.S.

Fast-track approval means federal politicians will need to vote on any agreement as a package; they will not be able to cherry-pick specific clauses or commodities from the deal.

President Barrack Obama has requested fast-track negotiating status.

Republican Paul Ryan, a powerful politician because he is chairman of the ways and means committee which controls the nation’s purse strings, wants approval.

He also took a swing at Canada and Japan, saying they ought to be exluded from the negotiations if they won’t offer to take down trade barriers protecting their farmers.

"Canada has big restrictions on dairy, poultry, and egg products. Those have to go," he said in prepared remarks.

"And if any of the 12 countries currently in the talks think our standards are too high, well, I’d complete the agreement without them and invite them to join it later."

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz welcomed Ryan’s comments about fast-track negotiating power, but said nothing about Ryan’s comments about supply management.