- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out Wednesday in support of the Obama administration’s free-trade deal with Pacific rim nations.

Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said his group will lobby Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement because it will boost economic growth.

“No trade agreement is perfect, and the TPP is no exception,” Mr. Donohue said. “However, the benefits of a trade agreement lie in how it is interpreted, implemented, and enforced. We intend to see this job through to the end — to the agreement’s entry-into-force and beyond.”

While not a surprise, the Chamber’s announcement was the second from a major business group this week to support the pact. The National Association of Manufacturers also endorsed the deal.

President Obama wants Congress to approve the TPP, which he views as the economic centerpiece of his push to “rebalance” U.S. interests toward Asia. The deal will ease trade barriers among 12 nations, including Japan, Australia, Mexico, Canada and Vietnam.

Democrats in Congress oppose the deal, saying it will lead to further losses of middle-class jobs in the U.S. Republicans generally favor it, although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, has said Congress might not consider the pact until after the presidential election in November.

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