Obama Calls for Passage of Trans-Pacific Partnership in Final State of the Union

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President Obama’s final State of the Union address Tuesday night focused on big themes of the economy, climate change, security and campaign reform, but also included an appeal to Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement — a move favored by the entertainment industry.

A little past the mid-point in his 58-minute address, Obama talked about the cooperation it took among nations to approve the trade pact, also known as the TPP. He said the agreement would “open markets, protect workers and the environment, and advance American leadership in Asia,” adding that it “cuts 18,000 taxes on products made in America, and supports more good jobs.”

Obama emphasized that, although it involves many other nations, under the TPP “China doesn’t set the rules in that region, we do.” He concluded by telling the members of Congress assembled before him: “You want to show our strength in this century? Approve this agreement. Give us the tools to enforce it.”

The comments immediately prompted a show of support from Chris Dodd, the former U.S. Senator who is now chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

“In tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama highlighted the advancement of America’s trade agenda through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a top economic priority for our nation,” Dodd said. “We share this commitment, because the U.S. film and television industry is a global economic sector that relies on open market access and strong copyright protections to support nearly two million American jobs.”

Dodd’s statement added: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership will lower trade barriers and help creators protect their content, allowing our industry to expand in key foreign markets, bring that investment back to the United States, and promote even more jobs here at home. We welcome the President’s vision on this issue and look forward to continuing our work with Congress and the Administration to enact this globally and economically significant trade agreement.”

Obama’s nationally-televised address focused on the accomplishments of his seven years in office and evoked the call for change that he echoed repeatedly in his first run for president. He ended with an acknowledgement that he has failed to turn back the partisan fervor in Washington.

“The rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse, instead of better,” Obama said. “I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I’ll try to be better so long as I hold this office.” But he said the American people would need to demand more changes — particularly voting rights reform, campaign finance controls and an end to political gerrymandering — to improve the political climate.

Obama then made a ringing call for Americans of all political stripes “to uphold your duties as a citizen. To vote. To speak out. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us. We need to stay active in our public life so it reflects the goodness and decency and optimism that I see in the American people every single day.”

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  1. Sorry, entertainment industry, but giving up our sovereignty as a Nation is not healthy. Here’s a list of the biggest beneficiaries of TPP:

    1. Multinational Corporations
    2. Multinational Corporations
    3. Multinational Corporations

    You might be thinking of your little segment as beneficial, but the disadvantages to this treaty are disastrous. Big Oil would be able to sue any nation where that nation’s laws MIGHT eat into Big Oil’s profits… that goes for Big Pharma too, and the Big Banks. Do your homework and read the text.

    • Vishnu says:

      It’s not good enough to just read it, you have to understand it. You’re a fool if you thuink for a moment that increasing American exports only benefits a ‘multinational corporation’. Or that sourcing our imports from somewhere other than China doesn’t help every American. And if you had read ‘the text’ you would understand that the environmental section of the agreement is no freind to the oil sector.

  2. Accomplishments…each and every one of them an abject failure in someway, and now he wants to add TPP to the thousand cuts of death. David Spade was right about him, except he’s thirsty for power.

  3. Dee Cee says:

    I voted for Obama twice, but f*ck him on supporting the TPP. F*ck ANY politician supporting the TPP or TTIP.

    • Vishnu says:

      Yeah cux… yeah! cuz i read an article sayin it was bad! Cuz it’s bad! Yeah!

      • 1freethinker says:

        No, because it IS bad. The ISDS provisions alone allow corporations to sue us the taxpayers in corporate tribunals, circumventing our entire judicial system, for billions in fines unless we overturn laws designed to protect consumers, workers, or the environment. This nullifies our national sovereignty and subverts our democratic process. The TPP is a corporate power grab and must be defeated.

    • TM says:

      I’m with you.

      Strangely, the PEOPLE in Europe and Asia do not like this just as the PEOPLE in the US do not like TOO and TTIP. But the oligarchs go ahead.

  4. Emmanuel Goldstein says:

    Obama is a Dictator just another word for a “Slave Master.” I’m sure the Trans-Pacific Partnership is good for us! Because we always like being talked down to! NAFTA screwed the American people, Illegal Immigration screws the American people, TPP screws the American people, Global Climate Change Taxes screws the American taxpayer! Notice how Congress and POTUS are exempt from Insider Trading on Wall-Street?? Are Obama Sycophants so stupid to think that Obama & Co. won’t be exempt from any Climate Tax too? Obamacare screws the American people! Barack OBAMA think’s everyone is his SLAVE! They have to do what he wants when he wants it! Ironic coming from the Democrat party! Obama & Co. want no GUNS! Oh no hi-cap magazines and “assault rifles” even though nobody can afford “assault rifles” people by semi-autos! They want people to use MUSKETS! Oh that’s how the Bill of Rights and the “Outdated Constitution”are! I guess by that measure, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the INTERNET! Just because the FOUNDERS NEVER FORESAW IT DOESN’T ME WE DON’T NEED IT! You take away the Second Amendment you take away EVERY AMENDMENT! You take the FIRST AWAY, and you can’t have the SECOND! Because power-hungry thugs like OBAMA TAKE OVER! Sorry don’t be stupid and watch Obama’s NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming it’s all Mind-Control! Obama is looking for Followers not solutions to problems! It’s the Hegelian Dialect! Barack cares more about Personal Power than he does about PEOPLE AND DOING THE RIGHT THING!

    • William Davis says:

      You need to take a Xanax and relax. You don’t need all these black-helicopter conspiracy theories to understand what’s happening. We have corporate capture of our political system. They’ve paid money for this influence, it’s not some ancient prophesy or military takeover. It’s corporate rule over the laws of the land. People like you make the rational anti-Obama statements look bad.

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