Friday, February 5, 2016

Senator Rob Portman to Oppose Pacific Trade Pact; New York Times, 2/4/16

Jackie Calmes, New York Times; Senator Rob Portman to Oppose Pacific Trade Pact:
"In a clear sign of the trouble facing President Obama’s trade pact with Pacific Rim nations, one of the most influential congressional Republicans on trade issues announced on Thursday that he would oppose it unless significant changes were made.
The lawmaker, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, who was a trade ambassador under President George W. Bush, objects to the accord’s provisions on currency manipulation, auto parts and pharmaceutical industry protections. Lawmakers in both parties have raised the same issues, but Mr. Portman’s authority on trade is certain to carry extra weight with colleagues...
The separate objection of many Republicans, that the pact weakens patent protections for pharmaceutical companies to make drugs more affordable and accessible globally, has been led by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and chairman of the Senate committee responsible for trade, a longtime proponent of the drug industry...
Only Malaysia has ratified it so far."

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