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The political economy of international trade decision-making within the United States is ever-changing and complex. The recent debates over the merits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP,) and the associated efforts of the Obama Administration to obtain Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), highlight these complexities. This short article is an attempt to clarify the political economy dynamics in the United States with respect to the TPP. It first explains what Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is and why President Obama needed to have TPA as a precursor to concluding the TPP negotiations. Second, it discusses some of the internal political dynamics impacting support for, or opposition to, the TPP, as well as the Administration’s previous failures to obtain TPA for the TPP negotiations. Third, the piece addresses Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and its interplay with TPA. The article concludes with an assessment of the ramifications for the TPP of the House and Senate having passed both the TPA and TAA bills.
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- The United States’ Path to Concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Will TPA + TAA = TPP?
Meredith Kolsky Lewis
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