What could possibly separate elements of the Democrat Party? It seems the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may work well in that area. The moderate traditionalists and the populist progressives have been growing apart for several years, but the TPP has some progressive Democrats questioning the White House’s policies. The two front-runners? President Barack Obama and Sen Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Warren is vehemently opposed to Congress approving a “fast track” bill allowing Obama to pass this major trade agreement between 12 Pacific countries. Warren is unconvinced by the lack of transparency surrounding the bill, claiming there are hidden provisions that “could help multinational corporations ship American jobs overseas or allow for watering down of environmental or labor rules.” Since the Congress nor the American public are unable to view the deal before it’s approved (“you’ve got to pass it to find out what’s in it”), Congress is unable to amend or fix it. Once the deal is done, she argues, there is no turning back, regardless of the damage to the American people and economy.
The Obama Administration firmly believes in the trade deal, with the president claiming it “fixes a lot of the problems that you had in things like NAFTA.” He has also said that it is “the most progressive framework for trade we have ever had.” His comment regarding Warren’s opposition is “I love Elizabeth. We’re allies on a whole host of issues, but she’s wrong on this.”
The Obama/Warren argument displays the two sides of the Democrat Party. While many Democrats are supporting the TPP, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada stands firmly against Obama on the TPP issue, saying, “I have never, ever … supported a trade agreement, and I’m not going to start now. So the answer is not only no, but hell no.”