The United States federal government should ban torture and force feeding of detained individuals.
The President of the United States should substantially increase lobbying and persuasion efforts, using available political resources, on behalf of Congressional enactment of Trade Promotion Authority.
TPA will pass with increased investment of Obama’s capital---key to the entire trade agenda and the Asia pivot
MarketWatch 2-17 – “Opinion: Stronger commitment could win bipartisan votes in Congress,” 2/17/14, http://www.truthabouttrade.org/2014/02/19/obamas-half-hearted-effort-on-trade-deals-not-enough/
Congressional Republicans generally favor freer trade andtheir support is vital for TPA to win. Experts saywithdecisive leadershipthe president could still build a winning bipartisan coalition. But as yet it isn’t happening. Gary Hufbauer, trade specialist at Washington’s Peterson Institute for International Economics, says in order for trade deals to get done the president needs TPA this spring, preferably before his April visit to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia. That delayed visit is intended tosolidify the administration’s pivot to Asia, of which TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is the centerpiece. TPP would broaden market access and promote trade by standardizing disparate regulations on hundreds of products and services. The negotiations involving 12 Asia and Pacific nations are well advanced but the sensitive issues like opening up Japan’s rice market, say trade experts, won’t be put on the table without the U.S. administration having fast track. Japan’s reformist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe favors TPP as he views trade liberalization as a vital component of the structural reforms he is championing to boost Japan’s competitiveness against a rising China. The U.S. and Japan are the major players in TPP but South Korea is considering joining and the door is open for China to eventually join. TPP negotiators meet in Singapore on Feb. 22 and in the best-case scenario a deal could be struck soon thereafter. Michael Froman, the White House trade negotiator, saysObama is fully committed to both TTIP and TPP. Republicans and trade analysts doubt it. This year marks the 20th anniversary of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the last major trade liberalization measure to become law. Popular in Canada and Mexico, NAFTA remains fiercely controversial here and is loathed in the Rust Belt. Sold by Bush 41, who negotiated it and by Bill Clinton who signed it, as a job creation measure, its promise is unfulfilled. Twenty years afterwards there is still no consensus on NAFTA’s impact on U.S. jobs.Carla Hills, the U.S. NAFTA negotiator, points to Federal Reserve data showing a net job gain. Democrats and the AFL-CIO say nonsense. They claim that at least half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost to Mexico. They blame NAFTA for hollowing out Rust Belt cities and holding down U.S. wages that have been stagnant for a decade. Clyde Prestowitz, a Reagan administration official and trade policy maverick, says U.S. jobs will be lost under TPP just as they were with NAFTA and a smaller free trade deal with South Korea. “TPP,” says Prestowitz, “isn’t about trade, it’s about monopoly control.” He complains that TPP is being negotiated in secret with only U.S. corporate leaders privy to its provisions. Mack McLarty, President Clinton’s chief of staff until 1994, recently told a Washington forum that, “passing NAFTA was a very close call.” It required, he said, close bipartisan cooperation andextensive arm-twisting by the president. “We took Carla Hills’s advice,” he said, “of having every NAFTA proponent call five members of Congress to assure a yes vote.” Read McLarty’s op-ed in the WSJ. In today’s acrimonious milieu, it’s hard to envisage that kind of bipartisanship. Assuming the president gets TPA — a heroic assumption — will heemulate Bill Clinton and fight for TPP and perhaps TTIP in 2015? Some trade analysts, including Fred Bergsten and Jeffrey Schott, say yes. They argue that after the mid-term elections an administration short on big achievements will turn to freer trade with Europe and Asia as a positive and durable legacy of the Obama presidency. The jury is out and the debate is only now beginning. One by one the president will have to win the battle of the acronyms. And withoutvocal, decisive presidential leadership, even the first — TPA — is unlikely to be won.