- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 13, 2015

A day after Democrats dealt President Obama a stunning defeat on trade legislation, the president urged House lawmakers Saturday to “reconsider” their vote and chided critics in his party who say the deal is bad for American workers.

“If I did not think that smart new trade deals were the right thing to do for working families, I wouldn’t be fighting for it,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address.

He called on lawmakers who voted against an aid package for displaced workers to vote on it again and to “stand up for American workers.”

“This is the right thing to do,” Mr. Obama said.

The House defeated the trade legislation Friday on the strength of Democrats led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. Democrats joined with Republicans to vote down the Trade Adjustment Assistance proposal, which brought down the overall effort to grant Mr. Obama trade-promotion authority, or TPA.

House Republican leaders say they will try to hold another vote on the trade legislation by Tuesday. The Senate has already passed the legislation. After wooing Democratic lawmakers with personal appeals and trips to Europe on Air Force One, Mr. Obama spent Saturday golfing with friends at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland.

The president is seeking TPA to help him conclude negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership, a huge free-trade agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations that is the economic centerpiece of his second term.

Japanese trade minister Akira Amari, lead negotiator in the TPP talks, said Saturday that the result in the House made the situation “extremely delicate.”
“It’s now very tough [to hold minister-level consultations] at the earliest possible time,” he told reporters.

But he added, “We don’t need to be pessimistic. We will closely monitor the efforts at the House of Representatives.”

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