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.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that President Obama "has done an excellent job" on the trade bill. "We'll pass it later this week," McConnell assured Stephanopoulos .
President Obama is trying to rally his supporters around his trade bill. But, as the email subject line suggests, he understands there are many critics of the bill: "I understand the skepticism about this."
"I want to set the record straight," the president of the United States writes.
"Right now, we have an opportunity to set the most progressive trade agreement in our nation's history -- with enforceable labor and environmental protections we simply can't count on other nations to pursue.
Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican, has written a letter to President Barack Obama regarding the request that Congress "fast-track" legislation on Trade Promotion Authority. Sessions says he has a number of questions Congress should expect answers to before the body agrees to "yield its institutional powers." Read the full letter below:
Most of the time the International Trade Commission makes the news -- in these pages, at least -- it’s because of its enforcement of anti-dumping rules that do little but boost the price of items such as steel and sugar for U.S. consumers.
After China supplanted Japan in 2011 as the world’s second-largest economy, some China scholars, as well as pundits and economists, began forecasting when it would supplant the United States as the largest. Extrapolating China’s remarkable 9-10 percent average annual growth in the prior three decades, these forecasters placed the GDP crossover in 2020. When China experienced a slowdown to 7-8 percent growth in 2012-2014, the crossover was deferred to 2024-2025.
The right and left are moving towards each other, in a sort of pincers movement designed to destroy the army of free traders pressing Congress to give President Obama what is known as fast-track authority. That would permit him to put any trade deals he negotiates with eleven Pacific Rim countries (the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP) and the EU (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) to Congress on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.
It is mandatory for economists to point out that one data point does not make a trend. We then all-too-often fill space with, er, a discussion of one data point, most usually the monthly report on job creation. Not being one to defy convention, I will report that Friday’s jobs report was a yawner. The 217,000 new jobs created in May finally pushed total jobs above pre-recession levels, but the unemployment and labor force participation rates remained unchanged at 6.3 percent and 62.8 percent, respectively. No post-winter jobs growth spurt, at least not yet, but no reversal of recent growth either.