WASHINGTON — President Obama said Thursday there could be enough bipartisan support in Congress to get approval for Trade Promotion Authority, which will help his administration wrap up negotiations on an Asia-Pacific commercial pact and put more muscle behind ongoing trade talks with the European Union.
Obama, who made remarks to chief executive officers, members of his cabinet and governors from several states attending the President’s Export Council meeting Thursday, said he needs TPA, formerly called “fast-track authority,” since under its rules, Congress does not have the ability to amend trade pacts negotiated by the executive branch and can only vote up or down on them.
The administration has been negotiating several agreements without the authority, but it is much more difficult to get Congressional approval for them without the authority, and trading partners are typically not willing to close deals because Congress might later mandate changes without TPA.
“We are going to need [to get] Trade Promotion Authority through Congress,” Obama said. “But this is an area where, so far at least, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) says he is for it and that’s good. So we may be able to get some good bipartisan support to get that done.”
The authority, which expired in 2007 under then-President George W. Bush, is seen as vital to completing several trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and 11 other countries and the Trans-Atlantic trade deal between the U.S. and EU.
Obama said his administration is “very far along in trying to get the [TPP] deal done.”
Obama’s comments about TPA were seen as positive by trade experts, although getting such legislation through Congress this year is seen as unlikely.
“[Obama] has not been terribly enthusiastic about trade until quite recently, and this is a good step forward,” said Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “I think politically it is unlikely [this year] because of the way time will be consumed in Congress over the debt limit and a continuing resolution to keep the government going.”
Hufbauer noted that prospects for TPA legislation — supported by a majority of Republicans over the past several years — are brighter next year, adding he expects Congress to pass a bill by next summer.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews