- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2015

Obama administration officials promised the fine print of its massive free-trade agreement with other Pacific Rim nations will be made public within 30 days, as they release a report Thursday showing the deal will cut taxes on more than 18,000 products exported from the U.S.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the text of the agreement should be available online within 30 days. He said representatives from the U.S. and 11 other nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are going over the language to make sure it accurately reflects the agreements reached by negotiators last weekend after a final marathon bargaining session on sticking points such as patents for biologic drugs.

Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council, called the deal “a massive tax cut for American business.”

“We’re confident TPP will earn bipartisan support in Congress,” Mr. Zients told reporters.

Most Democratic lawmakers are opposed to the deal, and the administration took another hit Wednesday when 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton came out against the pact. Some Republicans who previously supported it are expressing concern about last-minute bargains that were struck, including a provision that limits the ability of tobacco companies to challenge anti-tobacco regulations in other countries.

The administration’s report said TPP “eliminates thousands of taxes — in the form of tariffs — that are applied to everything from Washington apples, to Texas beef, to Silicon Valley software.” It said 11.7 million U.S. jobs currently are supported by exports, and those jobs tend to be higher-paying than jobs not related to exports.

SEE ALSO: Businesses hear Obama’s pitch on TPP

“As Asia rises, so does the importance of a level playing field,” Mr. Froman said. “Indeed, in a world where more than 95 percent of all customers live outside our borders, the disadvantages our workers and businesses currently face are unacceptable.”

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