While I often rail against conservatism and the obstructionism of the Republican-led Congress, ultimately I am a believer that politics is still the art of what’s possible. So now that we are beginning to see conservative voices emerge in opposition to the Obama administration’s quest to pass the TPP trade deal; I’m intrigued about the possibility of a coalition of groups from both the left and right getting together.
If “Obamatrade” catches on as a right-wing rallying cry against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade agreement covering the Pacific Rim economies of Australia, Japan, Malaysia, among others—it will probably have something to do with a sparsely attended press conference on Tuesday in the House Science Committee hearing room. That’s where the American Jobs Alliance and the United States Business and Industry Council —pro-business groups wary of trade’s impact on America’s national interests—joined with Tea Party Nation and the socially conservative Eagle Forum to rail against the TPP and President Obama’s support for “fast-tracking” the measure. The legislative procedure would prevent Congress from amending the agreement once it’s completed by international negotiators.Without fast-track, Congress is considered unlikely to approve the deal in its current form.
While the right side of the argument against the TPP trade deal harbors a lot anti-Obama sentiment and angst against other progressive causes, their other reasons for opposition to this trade deal can be similar to those on the liberal/progressive side of the ideological spectrum. One of those reasons would be ceding power to the executive branch over negotiating this trade agreement.