President Obama wants Congress to send the trade bill to his desk. Right away.
"I have made rigorous trade enforcement a central pillar of U.S. trade policy, and we have moved aggressively to protect American workers and to improve labor laws and working conditions with trading partners across the globe," Obama says in a statement to the press.
"The nature of global trade continues to evolve, and in addition to setting high standards through new trade agreements, the Administration supports new tools that would strengthen the Administration's ability to level the playing field for U.S. workers, businesses, and farmers.
"I am pleased that Chairman Hatch, Senator Wyden, and Chairman Ryan have agreed to swift consideration of the bipartisan Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act by the end of June. Many of these new tools – such as Super 301, elements of the ENFORCE Act and the Level the Playing Field Act, and constructive tools to address unfair currency practices – would strengthen our ability to both facilitate trade and improve enforcement of the rules. We must also repeal the consumptive demand exception for child and forced labor.
"I look forward to working with both chambers to improve certain provisions and to ensure swift, strong and effective enforcement. These critical enforcement tools are complementary to new trade agreements. This legislation should be considered and reach my desk as quickly as possible."
John Kerry is hoping to offer North Korea "a more legitimate entry road to the global community and to the norms of international behavior." The example the secretary of state has for the rogue regime? Iran.
Speaking at a press conference at Camp David, President Obama said that he'd "welcome an Iran that plays a responsible role in the region." Watch here:
"We welcome an Iran that plays a responsible role in the region," said Obama. "One that takes concrete practical steps to build trust and resolve its differences with its neighbors by peaceful means and abides by international rules and norms."
Obama has been meeting with Arab leaders at Camp David.
In an editorial for the new issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Bill Kristol notes the "ludicrous" "guarantee" Secretary of State John Kerry made last week regarding Iran's so-called breakout capacity towards nuclear weapons. Kerry told Israelis:
In an interview with an Israeli media outlet, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accuses critics of the Iranian nuclear deal hysterical.
"There's a lot of hysteria about this deal. People really need to look at the facts, look at the science of what is behind those facts… We ask people to measure carefully what the agreement is, and wait until we have an agreement to make all these judgements," Kerry says in the interview.
President Obama has long known that the real decision maker in Iran is Ayatollah Khamenei, the so-called supreme leader. While other Iranian officials have negotiated with Western powers over the mullahs’ nuclear program, Khamenei’s opinion is the only one that really counts. It is for this reason that Obama began writing directly to Khamenei early in his presidency.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is going to cause big trouble for the Obama administration. In a speech today, Khamenei denounced the White House’s spin tactics—according to the rahbar, there is no nuclear deal.
Governor Scott Walker has responded to a shot taken at him by President Obama with his own strong statement.
“President Obama’s failed leadership has put him at odds with many across the country, including members of his own party, and key allies around the world," Walker says in a statement emailed to the press.
In an interview with National Public Radio, President Obama said that it would be a "fundamental misjudgment" to require that Iran recognize the Jewish state of Israel as part of the nuclear deal. The condition, rejected by Obama, was one that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested: A "clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel's right to exist," as Netanyahu framed it.