June 10, 2015

G7 Summit Discusses Major Free Trade Negotiations


President Obama’s two proposed U.S. trade deals were discussed at the G7 Summit in Germany June 7-8. The G7 summit comprised of leaders from Germany, Canada, Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, all of whom hold stake in the outcomes of the trade negotiations.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes G-7 members Japan and Canada and brings together 11 other North American, South American, and Asian nations. The partnership would allow the U.S. to challenge its major competitor, China.

In an interview on “Marketplace” last week, President Obama said, “It sure helps if they are surrounded with countries that are operating with the same kinds of high standards that, by the way, we already abide by. So, part of what we're doing here is we're leveling up, as opposed to a race to the bottom, which means no labor protections, no environmental protections. We want to make sure that there is a level playing field that's going to allow us to be successful, and will help to shape trade and commerce, not just in the region, but in the world for a long time to come.”

According to the Associated Press, the TTP has Senate support; however will face a struggle in the House. Just 18 Democrats have expressed support publicly, and while the pact would be heavily supported by the GOP, the White House believes that may fall short of the total votes needed to pass.

Britain, France, Germany, and Italy are in negotiations for a U.S.-European Union trade deal. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) looks to be taking a slower path, although British officials said Prime Minister David Cameron was pushing G-7 leaders to reach a deal by the end of the year.

The G-7 summit proved successful in continued discussion of trade agreements and the extension of sanctions on Russia. Obama will now have to do some work on Capitol Hill to continue progress on the TTP and the TTIP.

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