- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

Four former secretaries of State and other officials from past administrations met with President Obama at the White House Friday to build support for his massive free-trade deal with Pacific Rim nations.

Madeleine Albright, James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell joined Mr. Obama in the Cabinet Room as the president urged Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is opposed by most Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans.

“The key now is to get this thing done,” Mr. Obama said.

The president is departing Washington Saturday for a week-long trip to Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia, where he will meet with leaders of the other 11 nations joining the U.S. in the TPP. The accord would lower or eliminate tariffs on goods produced by nations covering about 40 percent of global economic output.

Other former officials joining the meeting at the White House included retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; former National Security Advisers Brent Scowcroft, Stephen Hadley and retired Gen. James Jones; and former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen.

Congress will consider the TPP sometime early next year, although a vote hasn’t been set.

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