In his weekly address, President Obama talks about the importance of trade deals for the economy and why his adminstration is working hard on a new Pacific trade pact. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Obama says trade deals will level the playing field for American workers. In his weekly address, Obama focused on the Pacific trade pact he wants to conclude before he leaves office. Obama is seeking fast-track authority from Congress to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which would link a dozen economies and cover a third of global trade. "It's the highest-standard trade agreement in history. It's got strong provisions for workers and the environment - provisions that, unlike in past agreements, are actually enforceable," said Obama. The Senate could vote on the fast-track legislation next week, but it may face a tough ride in the House of Representatives, where many Democrats oppose it. Democratic opponents say the deal would cause a repeat of the factory closures and job losses seen after the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico was approved in 1993. Obama said he understands the fears, but said the criticism was out of date, arguing the new deal will include strong protections for labor and the environment, and warning that a failure to pass it would cede economic power to China.